March 11, 2022
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Today’s update offers a series of changes that the college will be moving towards concerning our COVID-19 policies and procedures. These are based on the steadily low COVID-19 positivity rates from recent weeks, as well as new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although we are relaxing restrictions, we are moving forward cautiously and the COVID-19 Steering Committee will continue to meet twice a week to evaluate the climate of COVID-19 within our college community.
In advance of sharing our new health and safety protocols, it’s important to acknowledge that Trinity is a mask-friendly community and the college will continue to respect the right of any individual – including students, faculty, staff, and visitors – to continue to wear a mask. All members of the Trinity community should act in a manner that demonstrates respect and understanding for those around them, including and most especially for individual choice regarding health and safety considerations.
After consulting with Hartford HealthCare, along with declining cases locally and nationally, the college is updating its health and safety guidelines to the following protocols. As a reminder, please do not go to class, work, athletic events, theatre performances, gatherings, or other activities if you do not feel well.
Effective March 14, masking indoors will become optional rather than required in many places on campus, including the library, Ferris Athletic Center, and dining, recreational, and living spaces. Indoor mask mandates remain in effect in the following locations:
- In all classroom, lab, studio, and instructional spaces during scheduled classes.
- In all healthcare facilities.
- At indoor athletic and performance art events, or other gatherings that include external audiences.
- In any campus space where signage indicates masking is required.
- Individual offices and group meetings when requested by the host or participants.
All campus community members will be required to keep a mask with them at all times and be prepared to wear it upon entering a space where it is required or at the request of another community member.
As a reminder, wearing a mask remains an important public health tool coupled with being vaccinated and boosted. Individuals who fall into a CDC high-risk category should continue to wear masks. Individuals who are not vaccinated or who have a vaccination/booster exemption must remain masked at all times.
Effective March 11, gathering and meeting sizes along with space capacities will be adjusted to accommodate more in-person interactions. Please consult the Gathering Guidelines for specific information. We will continue to assess the presence of Covid on campus, locally, and nationally and may make other adjustments following spring break. Dining halls are operating at full capacity, with grab-and-go still an option for those interested.
Visitors and Guests
Academic and administrative departments may host guests and visitors in the college’s buildings. Guests, speakers, or programmatic participants (e.g., lecturers, panelists, employment candidates, vendors, or visitors for other business purposes) must show proof of vaccination before gaining access to the space.
As a reminder, the college no longer accepts proof of vaccination via email. Event and meeting hosts should advise campus visitors to come prepared to show proof of vaccination upon arrival (physical card or photo of card). The host of the event will determine masking requirements.
The college is gradually moving away from surveillance testing and toward symptomatic testing only, tentatively beginning April 4. Please adhere to the following testing timeline and guidelines.
Through March 18: Mandatory weekly testing remains in effect for all employees and students.
Individuals that were given medical or religious exemptions are required to test weekly through the remainder of the semester.
March 21-25 (Spring Break): The testing center will be open on March 21 and March 24 from 9 am-1 pm; students on campus are required to test once this week. All employees on campus over break are welcome to receive a test as well. Any student who leaves campus for break must complete an at-home COVID test before returning to campus. If the result is positive, you are to remain off-campus, and please notify the Health Center.
March 28-April 1:
- To help the college identify any active COVID cases for immediate isolation, all students must complete two rapid tests the week of March 28-April 1. Students must complete the tests at the testing center. We will notify you of the plan for this by March 17.
- Employees will be required to take a rapid test as well and can either complete that from their home or at the testing center. If you test positive with an at-home COVID test, please report that to human resources.
April 4-May 25: The college will no longer conduct weekly surveillance testing.
The college will provide rapid testing for students, faculty, and staff who experience COVID-19 symptoms. Rapid testing will be conducted at the testing trailer located between the baseball field and Ferris Athletic Center. This is the same location that was used in the fall. We appreciate the work of the faculty as they support students who test positive by helping them keep up with their classwork and recognizing the challenges of isolation on students. College employees who test positive should contact human resources.
As we move forward with the safety and well-being of our entire community in mind, and the goal of providing the best possible student experience we can, we offer our sincere appreciation to each of you for the compassion and care you continue to demonstrate.
Today’s update does not signal the end of the attention we must continue to give this virus. Please continue to be responsible and accountable so we can finish the spring semester strongly and without interruption.
Thank you for your commitment. We will continue to keep you informed as new information becomes available.
Joe DiChristina, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management
Dan Hitchell, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer