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People bike through Harvard Yard on April 5, 2020. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Harvard Business School is requiring all first years to attend class online in response to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. 

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the business school is requiring all first-year MBA classes and some second-year MBA classes to take place online through Oct. 3, The Wall Street Journal reported. All business students must now be tested for COVID-19 three times a week regardless of vaccination status. Previously, vaccinated students had to be tested once a week and unvaccinated students had to be tested twice a week.

The University found that 81% of its 74 positive tests were among graduate students in its review of a six-day period from Sep. 19 to Sept. 25, according to the Boston Globe

Contact tracers found that the majority of infections were among unmasked students in off-campus gatherings, rather than in classroom settings, WSJ reported.

95% of students and 96% of faculty at Harvard have been vaccinated, the Boston Globe reported. The University mandates face coverings in indoor settings and has capped indoor gatherings in residential dorms and houses at 10 people, according to the Crimson.

In response to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the University has asked all students to take a number of precautions that include “limiting in-person interactions with others outside their household, moving all group gatherings online, and canceling group travel,” Mark Cautela, a spokesperson for the business school, said. 

Penn began bi-weekly COVID-19 screening testing for vaccinated graduate students last week. Random samples of faculty, staff, and postdoctoral students undergo screening and are notified via email each week. The University's positivity rate is currently .36% following a surge during campus reopening in August. 

Another Ivy League school, Columbia University, announced a slew of new COVID-19 protocols, including restricting access to residence halls, in response to 112 confirmed cases for the week of Sept. 13. Brown University recently lifted social gathering, indoor dining, and outdoor event restrictions that were implemented after 82 community members tested positive during the week of Sept. 13.