Is Zero-COVID come to the Ivy League?
Poets&Quants has learned that Harvard Business School (HBS) has moved its first-year and some second-year MBA students to remote learning after an outbreak of COVID.
"In recent days, we've seen a steady rise in breakthrough infections among our student population, despite high vaccination rates and frequent testing," Mark Cautela, head of communications for HBS, told Poets&Quants.
"Contact tracers which have worked with positive cases highlight that transmission is not occurring in classrooms or other academic settings on campus. Nor is it occurring among masked individuals."
"With the support of Harvard University leaders, advised by city and state public health officials, we have decided to move all first-year MBA students, and some in the second year, to remote learning for the week of 9/27 to 10/03."
Howard Foreman, a professor in the practice of management at Yale School of Management and a medical doctor who also teaches in Yale's School of Public Health, tweeted days ago that Harvard was facing a "substantial outbreak."
Foreman tweeted Sunday night that the "outbreak" continues to worsen with "11 new graduate students testing positive in the last batch of tests."
There is no data on whether any of the positive-tested students were symptomatic in any way... or if any were hospitalized.
What's remarkable is that most college students and staff at Harvard (95% students and 96% employees) are vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Is Harvard therefore implicitly admitting that vaccine effectiveness has waned to the point of total ineffectiveness?
Harvard has requested students to limit in-person interactions with others outside their household, move all group meetings online, and cancel group activities.
So, despite all the promises of a 'return to normal' if only everyone were vaccinated (which in this case they are), it appears elite higher education in 2021 is no different from elite higher education in 2020... and certainly not any cheaper.