COVID-19 Update: New London COVID-19 Alert
Dear Members of the Connecticut College Community,
A week ago, I sent a message to the campus community informing everyone about the rise in COVID-19 cases in the New London area. Today, I am writing to let you know that the CT Department of Public Health (DPH) has issued a COVID-19 Alert for New London. This is similar to the one that was announced for Norwich last week and that will likely be announced for other neighboring towns in New London County. Below are instructions from the Department of Public Health.
“DPH is working with local officials to get the word out in the community to take extra precautions for the time being, including: limiting trips outside the home, wearing masks any time you leave home, avoiding indoor gatherings with those you don’t live with, and not attending large outdoor gatherings....If you are over the age of 60 or have a chronic disease and live in New London, you should stay home as much as possible.”
I was on a call with DPH earlier this week and shared information about our testing regimen. It is imperative that you do not miss your testing days and that you continue to test consistently on campus. DPH and the local community are setting up additional testing sites in the community (tests are free of charge) to facilitate testing. If you have family members who may have been exposed, they should be tested as soon as possible at one of these designated testing sites. If they receive a positive test, they must isolate immediately and those who have been exposed to the affected person must stay at home for 14 days.
Faculty and Staff: While in the community, please follow the same expectations we have for our campus, including wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing and frequently washing your hands or using hand sanitizer. Please limit your exposure in New London County as much as possible and take active steps to reduce the likelihood that you will contract the virus off-campus and potentially bring it to the Conn campus.
Students: Given the COVID-19 Alert status for New London, please follow these new guidelines:
- If you live on campus, you may not leave campus to go to any site in New London County unless it is absolutely essential (e.g. going to get meals off-campus is not essential). An exception is that you may travel directly to visit a friend who is living off-campus but remember we are still in Alert Level 2 - Yellow so you must remain outside of their property.
- If you live off-campus, you may travel between your rental property and campus and must not go to any additional location in New London County unless it is absolutely essential. If you need to grocery shop, you may want to consider food delivery options.
While faculty and staff are entering and exiting campus on a regular basis, it is important to recognize that because you are living in residence halls surrounded by your peers, you are in a unique position to spread the virus. This is why it is particularly important for you to remain on campus and not risk contracting the virus off campus and bringing it back to Conn. Given the residential nature of our campus, COVID-19 can more easily and quickly spread in our campus community than among people living in apartments or houses.
Students, Faculty, and Staff: This is a critically important period of time in our county and in our city. I want to clarify that this most recent DPH alert is for the City of New London, but the rise in cases extends further to New London County, a much larger region. As a result, we must be vigilant throughout the county. Increased demands on local medical resources and public safety services is anticipated in the coming days and weeks, so we do not want to be adding additional stress on these services due to our own campus COVID-19 cases or any other avoidable medical needs (e.g. alcohol-related emergencies). We have a responsibility to help flatten the curve in the region and to do our part to support the local community.
We have six weeks to go on campus. Let's do all that we can to stay together, study together, connect with each other and continue to advance the goals of this great College.
Dean of Students