Aug. 16, 2020 

Important Information about Campus COVID-19 Testing and Move-In Week

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Before we get started with testing and the arrival of students this week, I have two topics that I would like to address: The College’s COVID-19 testing and Move-In Week.  

COVID-19 Testing

The testing center opens this week for faculty and staff, initiating our plan to test everyone who works or learns on campus this fall. The plan, which was developed in partnership with health professionals, starts by having faculty and staff who will be on campus complete an initial test  before students return. If you have not received a message assigning you to a specific testing time this week, and you believe that you will be working on campus this fall, please email your department head/chair as soon as possible. If your department head/chair, in consultation with your division head, determines that you should be working on campus, they will notify Sarah Cardwell, the testing center coordinator, who will be in touch with you about your testing schedule. 

On Thursday, Aug. 20, students working as housefellows and floor governors will arrive on campus. They will be tested immediately upon arrival, along with students who have been living on campus over the summer. After testing, these students will begin their onboarding quarantine period.

During the week of Aug. 24, we will only be conducting onboarding testing for all remaining students (those living on campus, off campus and commuting). The week of Aug. 31, all students will begin their twice-a-week testing, and faculty and staff will begin their weekly testing (either once or twice a week, depending on the number of days working on campus). The testing center will be operating Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

  • Faculty and staff who are being tested twice a week will be assigned to a Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday schedule.

  • Faculty and staff who are being tested once a week can choose from any one of the four available days listed above.

More information will be provided before Aug. 31 on the assigned testing days for people tested twice weekly and everyone will receive information on how to select a time for testing, using an app called CoVerified. The app will launch later this week. Every effort will be made to coordinate testing days with your on-campus work schedule. If that is not possible, your department head/chair will work with you and Sarah Cardwell to identify a way to get tested.   

We have received a number of questions from people who have a delayed return to campus about routine testing after the initial test this week. This includes the circumstances for faculty who will be teaching remotely through Sept. 10. As you plan for your return to campus, please note that you should come to campus to be tested at least 72 hours before you plan to be on campus for work.

  • If you are testing once a week, choose a time on either Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday and be sure that day is at least 72 hours before your first day working on campus. 

  • If you are testing twice a week, choose a time on one of the pair of days you’ve been assigned for testing (Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday) and be sure that day is at least 72 hours before your first day working on campus. 

If you are a faculty member teaching remotely in Module 1 and on campus in Module 2, then similar to the guidelines above, the week before you start in-person teaching, you should come to campus to be tested at least 72 hours before you begin to work on campus. 

Move-In Week Assistance

In order to help meet campus social distance expectations and implement our rigorous testing protocol, the College’s arrival period for students this fall will be spaced out over five days, Aug. 24-28. New student arrival, for example, is usually completed in one morning; this year it is spread over two full days. This protracted period creates many challenges, but one in particular relates to our ability to have community members present on campus to welcome and assist new students when they arrive.

In a typical year, Conn has a great tradition of engaging student leaders, faculty and staff in creating a warm, fun and welcoming arrival for our students. This year, due to on-boarding quarantine expectations for students, our student leaders will not be available to assist with this effort. In addition, many of our Student Life staff will be working at the testing center, further reducing the availability of people who can serve in this important capacity. As a result, we are reaching out to see if you would be willing to greet students during arrival week.  

If you will be working on campus this fall, and will be participating in on-campus testing this week, please consider helping to welcome students to Conn. We will need assistance with:

  • Directing traffic

  • Serving as greeters throughout campus

  • Working in the welcome center at the Athletic Center, where students will go to get their wellness kits, sign the Camels Care Pledge, and receive their move-in day pass.

I want to assure you we are taking the necessary steps to be sure these roles can be performed in a safe, socially distant manner to protect you, as you help make our campus warm and inviting to students. Please note that families are fully responsible for moving their students’ items into buildings—faculty and staff will not be assisting with this as they have in the past.

If you are interested in assisting with arrival week, please email Nancy Sargent at nsargent@conncoll.edu by Aug. 20. Nancy will work with you to identify a day and time that works with your schedule. We appreciate your support!

Thank you for your attention to these two important topics—and for all that you are doing to launch the new academic year.

Sincerely,

Victor Arcelus

Dean of Students