August 27, 2021
Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
Throughout the summer, Trinity has remained in close partnership with Hartford HealthCare (HHC) in order to implement strategies that offer the highest levels of protection to mitigate infection rates and prevent members of our community from becoming severely ill with COVID-19. Keith Grant, infection preventionist at HHC, has helped guide our planning by detailing five levels of protection that, when combined, maximize protection for our community: vaccination, masking policies, social distancing measures where needed, hand hygiene, and policies that encourage individuals not to engage in risky social behavior that may lead to transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Combining our efforts to have a highly vaccinated population on campus with the following protective measures helps us to create a safe learning and living environment for our community:
- Required indoor mask wearing
- Reduced density in dining halls and meeting spaces, as well as increased availability of tented outdoor spaces for meetings and gatherings
- Event planning to reduce the spread of the virus
- Continued use of air scrubbers in all classrooms and high traffic areas, higher air exchange rates in all buildings, hand sanitizer and cleaning products available for classrooms and public spaces, and high standards of general cleaning
- Required COVID-19 vaccines for indoor visitors
- Weekly testing of exempted individuals along with surveillance testing of vaccinated students, and plans to isolate and/or quarantine individuals that test positive for COVID-19 infection
Vaccination Rates and Other Protective Measures
As of today, 94 percent of students and 94 percent of faculty and staff are fully vaccinated or will be by the start of classes. These rates will increase as students finalize their enrollment plans and employees submit their proof of vaccination. We have granted a small number of medical and religious exemptions to students, faculty, and staff, totaling 30 people. Our campus community’s high rate of vaccination provides us with the surest way we can protect the health of our community. As we learn more about booster shots for COVID-19, we will partner with Hartford HealthCare to inform you of our plans to make these available for our community.
As a reminder, all new and returning students must provide proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours prior to coming to campus. Students should call the Health Center (860-297-2018) if they test positive prior to arrival.
Weekly testing for unvaccinated individuals with approved exemptions and surveillance testing will take place on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Testing will take place in the grey medical trailer located between the Ferris parking lot and the baseball stadium. Appointments for a test are not required; all tests will be walk-ups and we will not utilize the CoVerified app. Once test results are determined, students will receive an email notification and view results via a web portal that will be made available soon.
We will begin weekly surveillance PCR testing for all vaccinated students on September 6. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of this population will be tested each week. Students will be scheduled based on the last digit of their Trinity ID number and the first letter of their last name. This will help us test a cross section of students. Students will be notified via email a week prior to their scheduled test.
Testing for students who are experiencing symptoms and any follow-up tests will take place at the Health Center on weekdays from 8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m. and by appointment at other times. If you feel ill or are experiencing COVID symptoms, please call 860-297-2018 to schedule an appointment.
We will monitor the health and safety of community and modify our testing plans if needed.
Isolation and Quarantine Protocols
FULLY VACCINATED students who test positive in surveillance testing will be required to wear masks for 10 days AND obtain an additional medical evaluation in the Health Center to assess their health condition. The evaluation will determine if isolation or quarantine is required.
UNVACCINATED AND NOT FULLY VACCINATED students who test positive will be isolated for 10 days.
FULLY VACCINATED students who are exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 as “close contacts“ do not need to quarantine after exposure if they are asymptomatic and have no immunocompromising medical issues. Those individuals will be required to wear masks for 14 days AND obtain a COVID-19 test in the Health Center five days after exposure. If the test is negative and they remain asymptomatic, they no longer need to quarantine. If positive, isolation will be required for 10 days.
UNVACCINATED AND NOT FULLY VACCINATED individuals who are exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 as “close contacts” will need to quarantine. If they live in a single-occupancy residence they may do so there, but if they are in a multi-occupancy residential space, they will need to move to campus quarantine housing.
Staff and faculty who test positive should inform Human Resources and are asked to isolate at home until cleared by their health care provider.
As we did last year, we have set aside a small number of spaces for quarantine and isolation housing. Our off-campus isolation housing is adjacent to campus and students in these locations will receive meal delivery and support. Students in these locations understand that they will not leave their living quarters while isolation.
Thank you for doing your part to keep our community healthy and safe. As a community we have been resilient throughout the pandemic, and we encourage you to remain diligent in adhering to health protocols as we return to a fully populated campus.
Joe DiChristina, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management
Jason Rojas, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Affairs