Five Suffolk University students test positive for COVID-19

The university may also make spring semester courses pass/fail

Five Suffolk University students have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, Suffolk Dean of Students Ann Coyne said in an email Monday evening. 

Coyne said the five cases were separate and each student with the virus has received “appropriate medical care from providers as well as appropriate follow up from their respective public health authority groups.” 

She said that each of the students with the virus are “recovering well” and those who have been in close contact with them have been notified by the Boston Public Health Commission and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

All five students who have tested positive for COVID-19 began showing symptoms of the virus after they were away from Suffolk’s campus, and they have not returned to campus since they became sick, according to Suffolk University spokesman Greg Gatlin.

“There were no direct exposure concerns related to any of these students being on campus. Direct exposure concerns begin on the date the individual starts having symptoms,” Gatlin said.

The university would not say if these students lived on or off campus.

Gatlin said the university is not aware of any Suffolk employees who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Medical professionals from Suffolk’s Counseling Health & Wellness Office have also offered their support, Coyne said. 

“The University has established protocols related to any case of COVID-19,” Coyne said. “We are in close contact with public health authorities and following their guidance and directives.”

University officials will continue to inform students about the impact of COVID-19 on Suffolk’s community, Coyne said. 

Suffolk is also considering the possibility of a pass/fail grading system for courses taken during the spring 2020 semester, Coyne said in the email. 

No decision has been made yet, but according to Coyne, “a decision will be made about this shortly and you will be informed via email.”

The possibility of pass/fail grades for the semester comes after a petition was made by Suffolk students that has garnered 6,546 signatures on