BOSTON (CBS) — About a week before heading home for Thanksgiving, Berklee College of Music students learned they were going their separate ways sooner than expected.
Students found out Wednesday evening that classes were canceled for Thursday, and that the school would be shifting to remote learning Friday through next Tuesday.READ MORE: Car Crashes Into Swimming Pool In Norwood
“They said there was like a slight increase in COVID cases, and just out of an abundance of caution, they canceled classes for today,” said sophomore Cal Richards.
The alert was first posted on the school’s website under “COVID-19 Updates”.
“Due to our careful testing protocols, we detected a recent uptick in positive cases of COVID-19 in our student population,” wrote Berklee President Erica Muhl. “Our faculty and staff positivity rates have remained low; we attribute the rise in student cases to off-campus student gatherings. While our community-wide positivity rate is still well below the current rate in Boston and the state of Massachusetts, we are taking additional proactive steps to protect our community over the coming days.”
Muhl added that the school intends to return to in-person classes on Nov. 29.READ MORE: 73-Year-Old Woman Killed By Comfort Animal At Cultivate Care Farms In Bolton
A look at the school’s COVID Dashboard online shows there have been 37 positive tests results out of more than 6,000 tests taken over the last week, good for a positivity rate of 0.59 percent.
“We’ve all be incredibly cautious, still continuing to wear masks inside, masks during performances, and even while we’re performing and playing,” said Richards.
While Richards, a Florida native, planned to stay close by the campus, others began booking flights home before classes resume remotely.
“I guess we’re just going to do the best we can,” said freshman Bridget Byrnes. “It’ll be hard because our classes are in person. A lot are very interactive like acting, singing, dancing. But we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, it won’t last long.”MORE NEWS: Gov. Charlie Baker Weighing $4B Spending Bill Sent To Him By Lawmakers
Students told WBZ-TV that they hope this was just a temporary, precautionary step, and that they can go back to in-person classes after Thanksgiving.