August 24, 2021
Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
As we approach the start of the fall semester, we are writing with an update to our message from August 4 with more details about events and gatherings on campus, campus dining, and information about our return to color-coded alert levels.
Return to Campus Alert Levels and Dashboard
During the 2021–22 academic year, Trinity College will continue to use a framework of alert levels to provide the community with up-to-date guidance about activity and health and safety procedures on campus, based on several factors related to the virus. The framework employs four different color-coded operating status levels, from green to red, and the system is intended to help mitigate the spread of the virus within our community.
While this year’s circumstances are different than last year—notably because of the wide availability of and requirement for vaccines—we are continuing to monitor community transmission rates and respond in a way that is flexible and precise.
Therefore, beginning with the fall semester, we’re simplifying the alert level system—still using the same four levels but taking a more flexible, nimble approach that corresponds to circumstances we’re seeing on campus and in the community. In assessing conditions to determine the appropriate alert level, the COVID-19 Steering Committee evaluates many indicators and criteria, which are listed here.
As was implemented in the spring, the college’s current operating status will always be visible on our website and in Trinity Today, and we will notify you via email when there’s a change in the alert level and share specific guidance at that time. Alert levels will be active beginning the week of September 8.
We will also maintain a dashboard that provides the Trinity community with information about the presence of COVID-19 on campus and our efforts to mitigate its spread. The dashboard will report key data about the number of currently active cases among our community, the number of students in isolation or quarantine, and cumulative data on our campus testing program. The current case counts will be updated twice per week (beginning the week of September 8, 2021). The testing pool will only include our surveillance program for our vaccinated student population and weekly testing for individuals who have been granted a medical and religious exemption.
Masks, Physical Distancing, and Protocols for Campus Gatherings
In response to the high transmission rate of the virus in the Hartford region, on August 10 the City of Hartford implemented an executive order mandating that all individuals wear face coverings indoors regardless of vaccination status. This mandate applies to colleges and universities, including Trinity.
As a reminder, faculty, staff, students, and visitors must wear face coverings for all indoor activities and in common areas (classrooms, event spaces, and hallways) except when alone, such as in a private office or in college sponsored housing. While outside and going about daily outdoor activities (e.g., walking/running, small gatherings on the quad, small meetings, and while eating), members of our community are not required to wear masks.
As mentioned in our last message, in order to avoid densely occupied spaces, we are implementing a 50 percent capacity limit on all non-classroom indoor events. The Events and Campus Operations Office has developed a detailed guide to help faculty, staff, and students plan their indoor and outdoor activities within the college’s health and safety protocols for face coverings, gathering sizes, catering, and visitor policies. The guide includes specific information about space and attendance capacities, procedures for visitors, food and dining, and more. Of particular note, visitors attending or participating in an indoor event will be required to show proof of vaccination to event organizers. We have determined this to in the best interest of the health and safety of our community. Details about this requirement can be found in the guide for campus gatherings.
Student Arrival to Campus
During the week of August 16, students received information regarding arrival days and procedures to follow to check-in. If students have questions about their arrival, please write to the Housing Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year we will offer reduced density sit-down dining in Mather Hall and in The Cave. Face coverings must be worn until you are seated to eat your meal. Outdoor seating options for dining will be available on the Cave patio. The Bistro will be open for grab-and-go options only. Dining will be limited to Mather Hall as we re-populate campus over the next two weeks. All dining options will be available on September 8.
We’re grateful to everyone for your continued dedication and vigilance to the evolving health and safety landscape as we work to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in our community. We remain dedicated to providing a return to campus life that allows us to be together as a community in the safest way possible.
Joe DiChristina, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management
Jason Rojas, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Affairs