Mar. 2, 2020

Update on Recent Developments with the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dear Members of the Connecticut College Community,

We are writing to provide an update on recent developments with the Coronavirus or COVID-19.

Study abroad in Italy
On Saturday, the CDC raised the virus threat level in Italy from Alert Level 2 to Warning Level 3 (travelers should avoid all nonessential travel) and as a result we asked the students who are currently studying in Italy to return to the United States. Director of Study Away Shirley Parson and Dean of the College Jefferson Singer are working with the students and their program providers so they can complete the semester remotely from home and are keeping their parents informed.

We are also asking these students to refrain from being in close proximity to any Connecticut College student, faculty or staff member off campus until they are symptom-free for at least 14 days after arriving back in the United States. This is important to keep in mind given the College’s upcoming spring break.

Please note that all College-sponsored travel by students, faculty or staff to countries with a CDC travel advisory Warning Level 3 is not permitted, and any student studying abroad in a program with Level 3 will be required to return home.

We are continuing to keep an eye on study abroad programs in Japan, which is currently at a CDC Warning Level 2, as well as programs in other countries.

Return-to-campus instructions
To help protect the health of the entire campus community, students, faculty and staff are not permitted to return to campus if they have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or if they are returning from a country at a CDC Warning Level 3. Individuals showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should be in immediate contact with local healthcare officials to receive appropriate guidance.

Before returning to campus, students must contact Dean of Students Victor Arcelus (860-439-2825, varcelus@conncoll.edu) or Senior Associate Dean of Student Life Sarah Cardwell (860-439-2825, scardwel@conncoll.edu) to receive guidance and instructions, which includes securing medical clearance from a medical provider indicating that they have not shown symptoms consistent with COVID-19 for at least 14 days since contact with a person confirmed to be diagnosed with COVID-19, or returning from a country at a CDC Warning Level 3.

Faculty and staff must email cchealth@conncoll.edu before returning to campus to receive specific instructions, including following the CDC-recommended, 14-day monitoring period as noted above.

The College may also restrict access to campus for people traveling for College or personal travel from a country that the CDC classifies as Alert Level 2, requiring the CDC-recommended 14-day monitoring period.

Faculty, staff and students must register international travel over spring break for College or personal reasons using the International Travel Plans form. If your return to campus is delayed due to exposure to COVID-19, students should contact their class dean to make appropriate arrangements for their coursework. Faculty and staff should notify their supervisor/department chair and email cchealth@conncoll.edu to receive specific instructions.

Business continuity
The Emergency Response Team is meeting regularly to address issues related to the business continuity of the College, including classes, student housing, and other operations. Information Services, the Dean of the Faculty, and the Dean of the College are collaborating to develop creative solutions, including online options, that will allow students to continue to make academic progress in the face of absences or campus closure. Staff in Student Life are developing plans to prepare for changes in student housing assignments in the event it is necessary to isolate students who are ill or need to self-monitor for 14 days. We will continue to provide updates on other aspects of business continuity as information becomes available.

Ongoing meetings with public health officials and campus groups
To keep informed of the latest developments and guidance from the state, the Emergency Response Team is meeting with key leaders including representatives from the Ledge Light Health District, Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, City of New London Fire Department, NLFD Deputy Emergency Management Director and the American Red Cross to discuss various scenarios and how to best partner if the situation escalates.

We are also reaching out to individuals and groups to provide guidance and answer questions. Among the meetings planned: Amy Dooling, associate dean of global initiatives and director of the Walter Commons, will be meeting with faculty members leading trips to Mexico, Morocco and Russia during spring break; Director of Athletics Mo White will be meeting with coaches traveling with teams over spring break; Dean of the Faculty Jeff Cole will discuss COVID-19 planning at this week’s faculty meeting; Dean of the College Jefferson Singer and Carmela Patton, associate dean of the college and international student adviser, are meeting with international students; and Dean of Students Victor Arcelus will attend the open forum portion of the Student Government Association meeting on Thursday night.

New Frequently Asked Questions available on Coronavirus site
We have added a new Frequently Asked Questions section to the Coronavirus website and will be updating this regularly. For past updates that have been sent to the campus community, please refer to the Campus Communications section of the Coronavirus website. We will continue to provide updates as needed and encourage you to visit the Coronavirus or COVID-19 site regularly.

As we navigate this evolving situation as a community, it’s important to keep in mind that we are taking all of these necessary precautions together to preserve the health of our community. We thank you for your support in these matters.

Sincerely,

Richard Madonna
Vice President for Finance and Administration

Mary Savage
Director of Campus Safety and Emergency Operations