Keeping the Herd safe16 Dec 2020 Nichols College has been generating buzz for the way we kept the campus safe and thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic.After reaching the end of the semester as planned, news sites including the Worcester Business Journal and Spectrum 1 News have reported on the success of Nichols College and our rigorous testing and safety measures during the time of COVID-19.The Worcester Business Journal highlighted our efforts to keep campus safe and open until Thanksgiving break – our goal from the start of the semester. And we achieved this, WBJ notes, while other schools were closing in-person activities.“As the semester went on and other schools began moving courses online or restricting the movement of students – a list including Assumption and Clark universities, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester State University and Fitchburg State University – Nichols made it to its Thanksgiving break able to look back and exhale a bit that all the precautions largely worked,” wrote WBJ journalist Grant Welker.And Spectrum News 1 focused on our efforts to test our community thoroughly and regularly.“All together, the school tested more than 25,000 students from August to late November, and 28 came back positive,” said the local news outlet.This resulted in a positivity rate of just over 0.1 percent. That is significantly lower than the 5.71 percent 7-day average positivity rate for Massachusetts, according to the Dec. 14 Massachusetts COVID-19 dashboard.We also tested more than students. In the Spectrum 1 story Bob LaVigne, Vice President of Operations, said “we kind of created a bubble” by testing everyone in the Nichols community, including food service personnel, public safety, cleaning service employees and more.All of this led to an educational experience that didn’t stray from our mission.“The pandemic has changed many things, but it did not change our ability to conduct classes, whether remote or in person,” said Mauri Pelto, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs in a memo to students.“This remarkable achievement indicates our classroom setup, combined with testing and contact tracing, has worked to keep us all healthy,” he added. For more information on our COVID-19 response and related information, you can visit our website.