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COVID-19 surge mirrored in miniature on Williams College campus

Buildings, sidewalks and trees lie alongside a road through rolling green hills.
Josh Landes

The national explosion of COVID-19 rates has touched Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Williams Chief Communications Officer Jim Reische says this winter’s COVID situation, fueled by the wildly transmissible Omicron variant, has blown away all prior averages for on-campus cases.

“We had about 40 students as of this morning who had tested positive and were in isolation," Reische told WAMC. "I would say almost all of them had at most minor symptoms, some are asymptomatic, some had nothing more than essentially kind of a cold or low level flu type of experience. That number is now, this afternoon, up to 76 students who have tested positive. That includes test results from this Monday, which is the latest that we've received.”

The rapid multiplication of cases is in part due to students returning from winter break.

Williams has an enrollment of around 2,000 undergraduate students.

Reische says the administration is closely monitoring the situation, which is under control so far.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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