February 6, 2020

Dear Members of the Trinity College Community,

I am writing to update you about the coronavirus situation and its implications for the Trinity community. As you know, this is a rapidly evolving concern, which we continue to monitor carefully. Since last week, when the college sent a general health advisory to campus, the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global health emergency and the U.S. Department of State upgraded its warning against travel to China to the highest level. Meanwhile, measures taken in China and elsewhere affect our community, both on campus and off.

First, I want to reassure you that we have not seen any cases of coronavirus (suspected or confirmed) within the Trinity community. We have been in close contact with members of our community who returned to campus from affected areas at the start of the semester, and none has shown any signs of the illness.

Fudan University, home to our program in Shanghai, has delayed its spring semester start date, and we are working to determine the best solutions for the small number of Trinity students who were scheduled to study there this semester. We do not have any Trinity faculty or staff in Shanghai at this time.

With the exception of Shanghai, all of Trinity’s study-away programs are proceeding at this time. Students enrolled this spring in approved programs of study in other countries in Asia are either already in place or planning to go as scheduled. We are consulting frequently with our global health and safety partner, International SOS.

In addition, given the travel restrictions and advisories, we are exploring alternatives for engaging prospective and admitted students from China this spring.

Finally, the college’s Emergency Management Team is coordinating with colleagues across campus and with our partner, Hartford HealthCare, to stay informed of the latest developments and to anticipate and meet evolving needs. We will provide on our website updates for the community on this global health concern.

I know this situation is weighing heavily on the minds of those among us with family and friends who are in acutely affected areas. I ask all members of the Trinity community to be mindful of this and to care for and support one another. For more information, please see the links immediately below. Please be in touch with any of the campus offices, also listed below, for further guidance or to let us know how the college can best offer support.

For more information:
World Health Organization Coronavirus Information and Guidance
U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory
Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Summary
Connecticut Department of Public Health Coronavirus Information

Campus Resources and Support:
Campus Safety (24 hours)
Counseling and Wellness Center
Dean of Students Office
Office of International Students and Scholars
Office of Study Away
Office of Spiritual and Religious Life
Student Health Services


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience