Q-Week extended due to students out of compliance with testing and violations reported

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Students stand in line at the Johnson Athletic Center Feb. 20 for what was originally supposed to be the final test before the conclusion of Q-Week.
Kevin Ly–The Tech

Quarantine Week, or Q-Week, was extended until at least 5 p.m. Feb. 23, Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson and MIT Medical Director Cecilia Stuopis ’90 announced in a Feb. 21 email to the MIT community. Q-Week restrictions were lifted noon Feb. 23 after undergraduates complied with testing requirements Feb. 22, and no positive cases were detected .

Nelson and Stuopis wrote that Q-Week would be “extended at least until every residential undergraduate student is tested again” Feb. 22 and “those testing results are received.”

All on-campus undergraduate student residents living in dorms or pilot FSILGs this semester were mandated to self-quarantine for Q-Week while taking all classes online until Feb. 21. This date was then postponed to 7 a.m. Feb. 22 in a Feb. 19 email from Housing and Residential Services.

The second delay came as a “precautionary measure,” “despite the fact that the vast majority of undergraduates” have followed “all Q-Week policies.” 

Nelson and Stuopis explained that the step to extend Q-Week until Feb. 23 was taken “not because of an increase in positive test results,” but due to a “substantial number of residential undergraduate students” who were “out of compliance with testing requirements.” 

Some students had only tested once “upon check-in”; some had tested twice “without five days elapsing between their arrival and their second test”; others had not tested at all.

Nelson and Stuopis also wrote that they had already received reports of COVID-19 policy violations before the end of Q-Week. Reports included a pod gathering in-person and a group of undergraduate students “socializing, without face coverings, in an off-campus apartment.” They wrote that these individuals “have been referred to the Committee on Discipline for an expedited review of these allegations.”

The end of Q-Week means that students can now form pods, spend more time outside of their residences, and access the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation facilities.