April 7, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
We write with an update on our continuing response to the presence of COVID-19 on our campus. We have received all test results from Monday and Tuesday. There are currently 47 students in isolation (25 on campus and 22 at home). This is up from 37 students that we reported on Monday. Most of these new cases are among students who were already in quarantine as a result of earlier contact tracing.
Through that contact tracing, we have confirmed that these transmissions have occurred mostly via small, unmasked gatherings in residence halls and apartments off campus. Individuals at these gatherings then transmit the virus to other close contacts that are not following public health guidelines. We have seen no evidence of the virus being transmitted in the classrooms settings. Therefore, we believe that is safe to continue with in-person learning at this time.
Given the continued level of the virus in the community, we will continue at a yellow alert level at least through Friday, April 9, so that we can monitor test results this week.
The following measures will stay in place consistent with our yellow alert level:
- Dining is grab-and-go only
- Student residence hall access is limited to their own floors only, and common areas are closed; as always, students who live off-campus are not permitted in residence halls, and students on campus are not permitted in off-campus housing
- Athletics events (games and practices) are canceled
- Organized, supervised student activities are limited to 10 participants
- Unsupervised gatherings are permitted outdoors but limited to 6 participants
- Face coverings must be worn at all times, unless you are dining
As part of our effort to mitigate this situation, we are testing students in quarantine with rapid-result antigen tests. This allows us to more quickly identify and isolate students rather than waiting for their PCR test results. We also want to encourage any student who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to call the Health Center (860-297-2018) and schedule an appointment. The Health Center informed us that students with COVID-19 are experiencing sore throat, congestion, coughing, and a runny nose.
With the emergence of more highly transmissible COVID-19 variants, it is imperative that our campus community continues to wear face coverings, avoids social gatherings, and observes all public health measures aimed at limiting the transmission of the virus. It is especially important that students limit travel to essential, pre-approved reasons only. It is imperative that students do not go off-campus to dine.
We appreciate your continued attention and adherence to all of the practices we must take to keep up the fight against COVID-19. As we write this message, we are just 44 days away from Commencement, which, as you know, we hope to be able to host in person. Now is the time to recommit to this effort and ensure that our semester can continue as planned and that we do all we can to ensure the health of our fellow community members.
Joe DiChristina, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management
Jason Rojas, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Relations