By Louisa Moller

BOSTON (CBS) – Students at Boston University returned to in-person classes on Monday, despite concerns from some professors at the BU School of Public Health about the current nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases.

“It’s good to be around my roommates and my friends very safely though. And yea, I’m ready to take on what the world has for me,” said BU senior Binti-Joyze Niku.

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“I’m not too worried. BU has done a really good job of keeping us in check and tracking us and everything. We do have to take COVID tests every three days as well as a symptom survey every single day,” said another BU senior Amabel Antwi.

Prior to the return of classes more than 150 professors, students, and alumni of the BU School of Public Health signed a petition urging for a fully remote return to the spring semester.

“It is not safe to open for in person classes at the absolute peak of a pandemic,” said Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences.

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Siegel says 87 members of the BU community tested positive for the virus just last week with the return of students to campus.

“The idea that we can control this and that we can through all this extensive testing and case contacts and all of this, that we can somehow control the virus, I think is just completely unrealistic,” Siegel said.

In a note to the School of Public Health last week, Dean Sandro Galea wrote:

“I think Boston University is doing the right thing in re-opening its campus this spring, and it is the right thing for us, as a School of Public Health, to be welcoming our community back, carefully, thoughtfully, offering the option of safe in-person teaching at this time.”

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University President Robert Brown told BU Today that the school would rely on its system of robust testing and contact tracing.

Louisa Moller