NORTH ANDOVER — Thirteen Merrimack College community members tested positive for COVID-19 between Oct. 6 and12, according to a dashboard that tallies coronavirus cases on its website.

That puts the total number of people who have tested positive since starting the semester Aug. 13 at 123, the dashboard shows.

"These 13 positives tests do not represent an indication of a specific concern on the campus," Bethany LoMonaco, vice president of communications, wrote in a statement.

The college tests residential students, commuters, faculty, staff and other people who come to campus, The Eagle-Tribune previously reported.

Last week 5,153 tests were conducted. All but 13 were negative, putting the positivity rate at 0.252%.

Overall this semester the college has conducted 37,947 tests with 123 positives, putting the positivity rate at 0.323%.

At least 43 of those positive cases were part of an outbreak at Monican Hall dormitory that started in mid-September. Once the outbreak was traced to that dorm, because it was the only residence hall where students were testing positive within a 10-day timeframe, the students were quarantined.

"The college continues its aggressive asymptotic surveillance testing program, as well as testing all members of the campus community who return to campus after being quarantined and before they re-engage fully in campus life. This includes Monican residents who began arriving back to campus more than a week ago," LoMonaco wrote. 

"As a result of these two testing processes, the college identified 13 positive cases amongst the 5,153 tests of faculty, staff, students and vendors (per the dashboard)."

Monican Hall sits in the Andover portion of the college, Merrimack College Vice President Jeffrey Doggett told The Eagle-Tribune. However, because the college has a North Andover address the number of positive cases is associated with North Andover.

 

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