Important COVID-19 Update

Dear Staff and Faculty,

Below is a message I sent to students today regarding an uptick of cases on campus and reminders about ways to help prevent the spread of the virus. Please be consistent with your mask wearing over the course of the next next week or so as we wrap up the semester. 

I also provide information about test kits that we will be distributing to all students next week to be used when they return to campus in January and when they return to campus after spring break.

I wish you the best in these final weeks and I hope you have a restful break.


Victor Arcelus
Dean of Students



Dear Students,  

As we go into the weekend and finals, we are seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.  The cases we’ve seen over the past two weeks started out as cases from travel over Thanksgiving break and have then continued in connected clusters. Since Thanksgiving, we have generally had testing days with two or three cases and thus far with test results from yesterday and rapid tests today we have six new cases. At the moment, we have 14 active cases on campus at various points in the ten day isolation period. We still have test results from yesterday coming in and we will get test results tomorrow from today’s testing. Many students have received a booster through our four booster clinics and I am hopeful that that will help us to minimize spread across campus. 

As we go into the weekend, I am asking that everyone please be particularly cautious so that we keep COVID-19 levels down on campus and so that each of you don’t have COVID-19 interrupt your finals period and/or travel plans for the winter break. Below are some notes to keep in mind: 

  • If you feel symptoms consistent with COVID-19, self-isolate until you are able to get tested and receive a result. If you feel sick and you need assistance please contact Student Health Services, Urgent-Care, or Campus Safety.
  • Wear a mask when indoors in all buildings, including residence hall rooms if you are in a space with people you do not live with. 

  • Wear a mask when off-campus and do not eat/drink indoors in restaurants or bars. There is an increase in cases across the region.  

  • If you are identified as a close contact and you are fully vaccinated, please remember that you should continue to attend classes, finals, and other commitments. The expectation is that you wear a mask at all times and continue to test regularly twice a week. During the first seven days as a close contact, do not eat in the dining hall or other spaces while unmasked with others. Given the number of cases, the expectation is that you not resume eating with others until you’ve had two negative tests and seven days pass since your last close contact with a positive person.

  • For Festivus on Saturday, while the event is outdoors we strongly recommend that you wear a mask, particularly when under the tent. 

In addition, I want to bring to your attention that next Monday (December 13) we will start to distribute home COVID-19 test kits to each of you before you leave campus. You will pick up your home test kit at the Test Center. You will be asked to show your College ID in order to receive a kit.  If your January return date falls within 90 days of testing positive, you will not need to pick up a kit.  Each test kit has two tests in it. 

  • One test is for you to test yourself before returning to campus in January

  • The second is for you to test yourself before returning to campus in March after spring break. 

Each person will only receive one test kit so I ask that you please keep it in a safe place–if you lose the kit then you will be responsible for purchasing your own test kit or to get tested through other means (urgent care, local testing center, etc.) before returning to campus. More details about the test kits and how to document your test result in January and March will be shared with you in January.  

I wish you the best of luck with finals and I hope you have a wonderful winter break! 


Victor Arcelus
Dean of Students