New guidance regarding travel and visitors to campus

Dear Members of the Trinity College Community,

As the impacts of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) continue to widen, the situation is evolving rapidly. We are monitoring the situation and working in a coordinated way with colleagues across campus and in conjunction with the college’s Emergency Management Team (EMT). While no members of the Trinity community have been identified as having COVID-19, we want to acknowledge the uncertainty, stress, and worry that members of our community—both on campus and off—may be feeling, especially those who have experienced profound disruption of normal activities due to this situation.

In light of evolving circumstances with the outbreak, the president’s cabinet met this morning and has made some decisions regarding travel and visitor restrictions. President Joanne Berger-Sweeney has tasked us with coordinating the college’s response, and in that role, we are writing to share this important information with you today. Please read this message in its entirety and refer to the college’s advisories website, where this and all other communications related to this issue will be posted, and where we are maintaining a list of frequently asked questions and some useful external resources.

The following policies are in effect now through March 31; we will continually assess the situation and communicate further guidance before the end of the month.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS: INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

As previously announced, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all Trinity-sponsored/work-related travel by students, faculty, or staff, to CDC Warning Level 3 areas (currently China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) is prohibited. We recommend against college-related travel to other areas affected by community spread of COVID-19.

At this time, we ask that members of the community think prudently and reconsider all work-related international travel.

For personal travel, we continue to strongly recommend against travel to any area with a CDC Warning Level 3, and we urge you to reconsider your personal travel plans generally at this time.

Be aware that should you choose to travel to a CDC Warning Level 3 area, you will need to quarantine yourself for 14 days at your permanent home residence, not on campus. Please also note that the CDC’s travel advisories can change at any time.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS: DOMESTIC TRAVEL

As of today, college-sponsored/work-related travel by students, faculty, and staff to areas in the United States with a declared state of emergency or public health emergency due to COVID-19 is prohibited. This includes travel for athletic competitions, professional conferences, research, and any other Trinity-related work. At this writing, states of emergency or public health emergencies have been declared for the states of California, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, and Washington, as well as in Bexar County, Texas, and its county seat of San Antonio.

Currently, there is no single source of information for staying up to date on where all such emergencies have been declared, so the college is monitoring this information as best we can and will post updates as we have them on the college advisories website. If you learn of a declared emergency that you do not yet see on the website, please email that information to COVID-19-Feedback@trincoll.edu.

Further, we are canceling all college-sponsored student spring break trips. This means athletic teams will not go on previously planned trips to California, Florida, and South Carolina during spring break, and that other community service trips will be canceled. The Athletics Department will limit team travel to day trips and eliminate air travel by teams, and it is rescheduling spring break contests within the Northeast. Several other NESCAC peers are taking similar precautionary measures at this time.

For personal travel over spring break and beyond, we strongly advise you to follow similar practice and reconsider personal travel to areas where states of emergency or public health emergencies have been declared because of the outbreak.

For anyone traveling during spring break, whether student, staff, or faculty, please be sure to take with you any materials (books, laptop, etc.) you need to do your work in the event that changing circumstances while you’re away affect your ability to return to campus in the near term.

Please note: These measures are not intended to induce fear or panic, but rather to invoke the individual responsibility of every member of this community—not only to keep the Trinity community healthy, but also to help minimize the global spread of COVID-19. Limiting our own non-essential travel for now is one way to contribute to the work being done around the world to curtail the outbreak.

TRAVEL REGISTRY

Beginning today, March 6, 2020, Trinity students, faculty, and staff should register all college-sponsored/work-related travel, both domestic and international, via this form. We also strongly encourage students, faculty, and staff to share basic information about your personal travel plans the same way. This allows us to have information so that we can be as responsive as possible in providing assistance and attending to the health and safety of our community.

VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

As we limit our own travel, we must implement parallel measures for those seeking to visit campus at this time. The spring semester is always a busy time, filled with visitors coming to campus for tours, conferences, and special events. We apologize for the inconvenience and disruption that these temporary measures bring.

Visitors who have been in a CDC Warning Level 3 area within the past 14 days are not permitted on campus at this time. Likewise, visitors who have been in a U.S. location in the past 14 days where a state of emergency or public health emergency has been declared due to COVID-19 are not permitted on campus at this time. It is the responsibility of hosting departments, offices, or individuals to ensure that their visitors have not been to the affected areas within the past 14 days.

Again, all of these measures are in effect through March 31; we will provide ongoing guidance in subsequent communications.

RESOURCES

Travel-Related

U.S. citizens and nationals planning to travel internationally may register with STEP, the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. With STEP, you can sign up to receive alerts about any new health or safety advisories in your countries of travel.

While we will do our best to keep the community updated on the situation globally, please consult the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisories and the CDC’s Travel Advisories before traveling.

Students Staying on Campus During Spring Break

We do not close residence halls or dining during spring break, so students who need to stay on campus may do so. Students should complete the survey sent to them from the Bantam Network Residential Learning Community about their plans for spring break and otherwise be in contact with the office at 860-297-2305 for further assistance.

Returning from Travel

Students, faculty, and staff returning from a CDC Warning Level 3 area must abide by the CDC-recommended 14-day self-quarantine and monitoring, which must occur at their permanent home residence, not on campus. For more details about self-quarantine, as well as guidance for returning to campus, please consult our FAQ.

Health-related

As with any other virus, we ask that everyone remain vigilant in taking precautions to prevent the spread of illness. CDC guidelines for prevention of COVID-19 are similar to those used to prevent the spread of any virus, and they are listed here.

In our work with the college’s leadership and with colleagues across campus, we are addressing needs and issues both short and long-term. You can anticipate communications in the coming days that share more about the operational structure of our COVID-19 response team and that address questions about the protocol should the illness occur on our campus, plans for large-scale events on campus, among others. In the meantime, for other questions or to share feedback or information, please contact COVID-19-Feedback@trincoll.edu.

Thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of our community. Please continue to take care of yourself and one another.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Aber
Vice President for Information Services and Chief Information Officer

Angela Paik Schaeffer
Vice President for Communications and Marketing