Member of Williams Community — Now in Another State — Tests Positive for COVID-19

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College on Friday notified its community that a member of the college community who was on campus as recently as Sunday has tested positive for COVID-19.
 
The person, who was not named, is self-isolating at home in another state, the email said.
 
"This is the first confirmed case within the Williams community," the email read. "We are notifying you all because this person was on campus from Saturday, March 14, through Sunday, March 15, and interacted with people, especially students, during that time.
 
"Out of an abundance of caution, we are notifying all of you and using this moment to remind everyone of the need to maintain such distancing at all times, and to practice thorough hygiene."
 
The college's medical director, Deborah Flynn, signed the letter along with Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom and Vice President for Campus Life Steve Klass.
 
They said the college is working with the infected person to create a list of people they contacted while on campus. The person in question "has reached out to many of those people already, and we will get in touch directly," the college's email read.
 
Last week, the college announced that it was sending its students home for the duration of the spring semester and moving to an online learning model. The last day students were allowed on campus was March 17. The overwhelming majority of Williams College students live in college-owned housing.
 
"Williams has been preparing for the likelihood that this rapidly spreading virus would eventually affect our community, and we are now taking measures in accordance with our plan and with expert public health advice," Friday's email read. "Even so, we recognize that this news will cause concern. We assure you that we are taking the necessary steps, and we thank you all for doing your part by keeping to a strict regimen of social distancing, limited interaction and careful hygiene."

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Williams Shuts Down Construction After Worker Raises COVID-19 Concerns

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

The North Addition is the second of two buildings in the $204 million project and is replacing the Bronfman Science Center.  The South Science Building opened in 2018.
Update at 6:04 p.m.: Williams College is shutting down all construction on both the North Science Building and Fort Bradshaw projects as of the end of day Friday. 
 
According to an email from Fred Puddester, vice president of finance and administration, "neither of the firms managing these two projects have reported any positive cases of COVID-19 on either work site."
 
iBerkshires.com was forwarded this notification at 5:53 p.m., although the first communication within Williams' departments came nearly an hour before. iBerkshires had requested comment since Thursday morning. 
 
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