September 14, 2020
Dear Students, Families, Staff, and Faculty,
As the second week of classes gets under way today, we want to let you know that we appreciate the efforts many of you made to start in-person classes last week. Here are a few important updates:
- Currently, eight students and one employee have tested positive for COVID-19. Six of the eight students are in isolation, either in their homes or in the designated location on campus, and two have been released from isolation because they did not exhibit symptoms after the required 10-day isolation period. (We are providing the numbers of current positive cases via this email because the Trinity College COVID-19 dashboard cannot be updated due to the IT incident that was reported on Sunday, September 13.) Students in isolation continue to receive meals and other support. In partnership with the Department of Public Health, we also conduct contact tracing with the isolated individuals to identify others who may have had direct exposure to them. A small number of students are in quarantine because of possible exposure via close contacts. These students continue to be tested and monitored and may not participate in any campus activities, including in-person classes, for a 14-day period. They must be symptom free to reengage with the community. These practices are important to our collective effort to mitigate the spread of the virus and to respond to any cases.
- We want to continue to emphasize that to maintain a low prevalence of COVID-19 on campus, members of our community must comply with social distancing guidelines, wear face coverings, employ good hygiene practices, and remain in residence and call the Health Center if they are not feeling well or are experiencing symptoms listed on their daily health report via the CoVerified app. Members of our community should use this app to schedule appointments for assigned testing days. Students who do not participate in the mandatory testing program will be required to leave and remain off campus. They will not participate in any in-person classes or other activities. This expectation was outlined in the COVID-19 Trinity Community Contract.
- As of today, the college will continue to limit the size of co-curricular, extracurricular, and informal gatherings that take place inside buildings or outside where members of our community might gather. This means, for example, that in small numbers (not to exceed six), students may be together outside (e.g., on the Main Quad) to dine, to socialize, and to study while being mindful of all social distancing requirements. Any possible violations of college alcohol and/or drug policies will be managed through the student conduct process, as outlined in the Student Handbook.
- During the week of September 14, the college will assess whether to allow larger gatherings of 10 individuals inside and 25 outside. The guidelines were described in the Guidelines and Protocols for Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Experiences. Specifically, we will be attentive to the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community and the compliance of our community in abiding by the community contract. (The college already has had to remove a small number of students for not abiding by the community contract.) We will notify our community by Friday, September 18, regarding our plans for the size of gatherings.
We thank all of you for your dedication to protect the well-being of our entire community of faculty, staff, and students.
Joe DiChristina, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management
Jason Rojas, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Affairs