October 30, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We write to update the community on the presence of COVID-19 in our community.

As we informed you on Thursday, we saw five student cases as a result of COVID-19 tests conducted on Tuesday. The students are either at home or isolating on campus. Through contact tracing, 30 other students are in quarantine.

Last night and this morning we learned of two additional cases, involving for the first time a faculty member and a member of our food service staff (a Chartwells employee). Both individuals are in isolation off campus.

While we won’t disclose identifying details about these or any other cases among our community, we felt it was important to share pertinent information and make clear the protocols we are following. The faculty member case was revealed through our campus testing; a very small number of students interacted with the individual, and that interaction—because it was properly distanced and all individuals were masked—was deemed by our health center to be of low risk, not requiring quarantining or further action at this time. We do not see evidence of this case being connected to the other currently active cases.

We were informed this morning of the positive test result of a Chartwells team member, who was tested externally. We activated our contact tracing protocol, and as a precautionary measure, 10 individuals are now in quarantine at home. We consulted with the City of Hartford Department of Public Health and were advised that the risk of transmission was low given the dining operation protocols that are in place. No immediate additional actions were required. We do not see evidence connecting this case to other active cases on campus at this time.

As a reminder, since the start of the semester, Chartwells has had in place myriad safety measures to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19, including daily temperature checks for employees, mandatory face coverings and gloves, increased frequency of disinfecting and cleaning, and the installation of sneeze guards and plexiglass shields at food stations. For several weeks, our dining operation has been grab-and-go only.

We have eight cases in our community (five at home, three on-campus). The alert level remains at green. It is essential that we not let down our guard and that we continue to practice mask wearing, distancing, and limiting gatherings. We are seeing a global and national resurgence in COVID-19 cases, including an increase in the Hartford area and the state of Connecticut. This means that all of us must remain vigilant in our efforts to contain the virus.

Thank you for doing your part to keep our community healthy and safe. As a community we have been resilient in living and learning on a college campus during a pandemic. We encourage you to remain diligent in adhering to all health and safety protocols as we head into the final weeks of in-person learning this fall. We will keep a close eye on the situation through the weekend and share new information as appropriate.


Michelle Cabral, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Joe DiChristina, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management
Jason Rojas, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Relations