Exactly one month following the start of its fall term, Harvard Business School announced Monday it has moved all of its first-year MBA students and some of its second-year students to remote learning this week due to “a steady rise in breakthrough” COVID-19 infections among its student population. Students, faculty, and staff at universities across the country have feared these types of on-campus breakthrough infections.
Harvard requires that all community members—students, faculty, staff, and researchers—be vaccinated. As of Sept. 22 figures, 96% of Harvard employees and 95% of Harvard students were vaccinated. That’s a much higher vaccination rate than the U.S. adult population, which currently lands at just more than 64% vaccinated. As of Monday, HBS students have been asked to learn remotely through the weekend.
“In recent days, we’ve seen a steady rise in breakthrough infections among our student population, despite high vaccination rates and frequent testing,” HBS spokesperson Mark Cautela said in a statement on Monday.
“Contact tracers who have worked with positive cases highlight that transmission is not occurring in classrooms or other academic settings on campus,” Cautela added. “Nor is it occurring among individuals who are masked.”
Harvard University, which Fortune ranks as having the No. 1 full-time MBA program in the country, was advised by city and state public health officials to move MBA students to remote learning from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, Cautela said in a statement. The school also asked students to eliminate unmasked indoor activities and limit in-person interactions with people outside of their household. They’ve also asked that group gatherings be moved online and that travel be cancelled.
Harvard has also increased its COVID-19 testing frequency to three times per week, and will send a daily email to all students with updates on “all aspects of the situation,” Cautela said in a statement.