October 12, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Thank you for your continued efforts in ensuring the safety and well-being of our campus community.

We know that the pandemic can result in increased anxiety for many and that confirmed cases of COVID-19 cause concern about the health of our community. We strongly encourage any students who are experiencing increased anxiety or who have questions to contact the counseling center or student life office for guidance.

Since announcing on Saturday the plan to remain with remote learning this week, we have had some requests from students to leave campus to study at home temporarily. We can support students needing to travel for an important doctor’s appointment or urgent family matter. We have worked with students on these requests and developed plans for their return to campus. Otherwise, you may not travel home at this time. Doing so would not only increase the risk for you, our community, and your home community, but it also would create a significant burden for the staff in student life and student health to track all such requests and develop specific plans for students’ return. Travel from campus is currently prohibited for all but essential reasons.

At this time, we remain at an orange campus alert level, with 47 active cases. Thirty-four of the students are in isolation on campus, and 13 are at their homes. While Doonesbury is our primary facility to isolate students who test positive, we had previously identified additional isolation spaces on and off-campus that add to our capacity for isolation. We have set aside a small number of beds on campus in apartment-style spaces that are self-contained. These facilities have dedicated bedrooms and bathrooms. These spaces are in Stowe, Clemens, and an exterior apartment connected to Vernon Place (all had been designated as isolation facilities during the pandemic last spring). Students in isolation receive meal delivery and support. Students in these locations understand that they will not leave their living quarters while isolation. Our off-campus isolation housing is adjacent to campus and students in these locations will receive the same staff support as the students in on-campus facilities.

We share these details to provide clarity and reassurance about our protocols for housing and caring for students who test positive for COVID-19, as well as for housing and caring for all other students on campus. These protocols were developed in close collaboration with the Health Center and our partnership with Hartford HealthCare. Please know we take these protocols seriously, and the health and safety of the community remains our highest priority.

On a related note, we understand the value of exercise and activity to the physical and mental well-being of our students, especially in times of stress. We know that the closure of Ferris workout facilities limit opportunity for physical activity, so we are making the track at Jessee/Miller Field available for individuals to engage in passive recreation such as walking or jogging. Masks and social distancing will be required, and users should use every other lane at the track when multiple people are present. No gatherings of any size are permitted on the track or field. You may also use the grass field adjacent to Hansen Hall, as well as other outdoor spots throughout campus for individual exercise.

We can all contribute to the well-being of our community by wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing, continuing with campus testing and daily symptom checking, and limiting gatherings in accordance with the expectations we have for ourselves as a Bantam community.


Joe DiChristina, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management
Jason Rojas, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Relations