January 6, 2022
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
On January 4, we wrote to you with information on our updated isolation policies for students who test positive for COVID-19. That same evening, the CDC issued guidance allowing for an isolation test-out option for people who test positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms at day five of their isolation. The COVID Steering Committee, in consultation with public health and infectious disease experts at Hartford HealthCare, has evaluated this guidance and determined the following protocols for students who are isolating on campus.
- Students who test positive must isolate for a minimum of five days and possibly up to 10 days, depending on test results. Students must remain in contact with the Health Center while isolating and the Health Center approves the end of your isolation.
- Students who are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (e.g., no fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducers), and want to test, the best approach is to use a rapid antigen test toward the end of the five-day isolation period. The Health Center will oversee this process for students.
- If the rapid test on day five is negative, followed by a negative test on day six, they may leave isolation with the approval of the Health Center. If the test is positive on day five, they may test again on day seven. If that test is negative followed by a negative test on day eight, then the student may leave isolation. Otherwise, isolation must continue for the full 10 days.
- All individuals who test positive must wear a mask for 10 days.
Options for Pre-Arrival Tests
As you know, students who are returning to campus must have a negative PCR test administered within 72 hours of returning to campus. Because of the increasing demand for PCR tests and difficulty getting them in a timely manner, students returning to campus from January 26-30 have the option of getting an antigen test instead of a PCR test. Antigen tests must be administered within 24 hours of arrival. Please bring your tests results to check-in. In the next week, we will provide detailed information on the check-in process, which will include getting a PCR test at the campus testing center (Memorial Field House) on the day of your arrival.
Given the rapid transmission of the highly contagious Omicron variant, we urge students to secure an additional test the week of January 10 and report a positive test to the college by submitting the test results to firstname.lastname@example.org. For rapid tests, you can take a picture of the results with your name and test date written on it, and for PCR tests you can scan the results from the lab. This will allow individuals who test positive to complete their isolation period at home and the test outcome will provide the college with a clearer understanding of the potential for the presence of COVID in our community. Anyone who tests positive will be exempt from on-campus testing for 90 days after their infection. Please note: If your test is negative, you will need to do another pre-arrival test within the prescribed window of your arrival date (72-hours for PCR or 24 hours for antigen).
No Social Gatherings in January
Even with the limited number of students and employees on campus right now, we are prohibiting social gatherings in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. We are evaluating our meeting and gathering policies to determine what adjustments are necessary for the start of the spring semester. In-person meetings are discouraged but allowed with masks worn for the duration of the meeting. Please avoid having meetings that include food and beverage.
We want to thank you again for attention to these updates and for your continued diligence of protecting your health and safety and of those around you.
Jason Rojas, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Relations
Joe DiChristina, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management