June 18, 2020

Dear Trinity College Community Members,

For nearly three months now, all of us have been working under circumstances that we never could have imagined. In my short time at Trinity, I have been incredibly impressed by our community’s ability to pivot so quickly to a remote learning and working environment. Our resilience, flexibility, and creativity make Trinity strong.

Today, I’m writing to share some details about our plans to bring employees back to campus. At the moment, most employees continue to work remotely; only those whose on-campus work is essential for the critical functions of the college, including the support of students who remain here, are working on campus regularly. In a few weeks, others will be needed on campus as we prepare for the start of the fall semester. As we plan in as much detail as possible and aim to anticipate a variety of scenarios, some level of uncertainty will remain. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we manage that uncertainty, and also your flexibility as we may encounter the need to adapt and change our plans.

We will continue to be guided in our plans by science and public health guidance, and we are grateful for the partnership of the state of Connecticut in this complex work. We are monitoring progress toward the state’s required gating conditions for reopening residential colleges and preparing to bring students back to campus in late August. When we begin the semester, we will be flexible to accommodate a variety of needs and conditions, and we will do all we can to reduce the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.

On July 6, we will begin a Pilot Phase of repopulating our campus by bringing back a small number of additional employees (faculty and staff) whose job functions can only or can most fully be performed on campus. Division leaders have been asked to identify those who should return in this phase, and if you are among this group, your manager will discuss this with you within the next few days. Also in this pilot phase, no building should see more than 25 percent occupancy. This may require managers to implement alternating schedules to ensure low density of staff members at any one time. We want to do this carefully and allow space and time to implement a number of safety practices. These will be implemented as of July 6 for all college employees who are working on campus regularly, including those who have already been working on campus.

As employees return to campus, we ask them to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms daily (and stay home if they are experiencing such symptoms). State guidance regarding COVID-19 testing is evolving; for now, we strongly recommend that all those who are returning on July 6 receive a viral test and negative test results before returning to campus. Once back on campus, employees will need to follow all safety protocols, including practicing physical distancing and using face coverings in all indoor spaces (except for individual offices). Trinity will provide face coverings for employees. Our facilities provider, ABM, is following enhanced cleaning procedures for public areas, including restrooms, and high-contact surfaces such as door handles and elevator buttons, and the college will be attending in the coming days to any necessary accommodations to ensure workspaces are configured safely. But individuals are responsible for keeping their personal spaces and equipment clean using supplies that will be provided by the college. More details will be provided on our Return to Campus website as available, and we will be adding informational signage and reminders about public health best practices throughout campus. Each of us has a responsibility to help minimize risk and maximize the safety of our campus.

If an employee has a concern about returning to campus for Fall semester 2020, the employee should inform their department chair/manager. If necessary, chairs/managers may contact human resources to assist in balancing the need for work to be done on campus and the employee’s concern. Employees will not be asked to share sensitive information about their specific situation.

In this pilot phase of repopulating the campus, indoor athletic facilities and dining facilities will remain closed, and the library and campus post office will maintain their limited hours and services. Access to campus buildings will remain limited to Trinity ID cardholders.

The next stage of returning to campus, a Modified Operations Phase, will begin on Monday, August 3. At that time, those employees whose roles require them to be on campus to prepare for student repopulation of campus will be allowed to return. Even then, building densities will be limited to no more than 50 percent capacity, and all returning employees will follow the same protocols for testing, monitoring, and following public health best practices.

We aim to begin bringing students back to campus on or about August 24, and at that time we will welcome back more employees—staff and faculty—though the details of how many and who are yet to be determined. Finally, as reported after the faculty vote on the new academic calendar for the upcoming year, we anticipate starting in-person classes on Labor Day, September 7. Please note that Labor Day will remain a holiday for administrative staff.

Again, I know you will have many questions, and we will provide more information on these later phases of return as we get closer to their start. If you have specific questions about your role and your return to work, please speak with your supervisor and/or contact Human Resources. If you have broader questions about these plans, I encourage you to email [email protected].

Thank you for your hard work during this difficult time, and for your support and dedication to Trinity.


Michelle Cabral
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources