Aug. 12, 2020
Important Message About Fall Classes and Other COVID-19 Updates
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
We’re looking forward to the resumption of the academic year and write today to share information and new guidance regarding fall classes and activities on campus. All fall classes will be taught online through Thursday, Sept. 10. On Friday, Sept. 11, in-person classes will start meeting in their assigned location, and other in-person activities and programs may begin as of this date.
The College is taking this step because of state and federal travel advisories that require many students to quarantine for up to 14 days. Selecting a single start date for in-person classes offers a simple, safe and equitable way to comply with this requirement.
We also want to alert you to your own required adherence to these travel advisories. If you have visited any location with a high incident of COVID-19 as noted in the travel advisories of the U.S. State Department or the State of Connecticut, you must fill out the form online at ct.gov/travelform, self-quarantine for 14 days and refrain from visiting campus during your quarantine period. Please note that the State of Connecticut has communicated that failure to submit the travel form or to self-quarantine may result in a civil penalty of $1,000 for each such violation.
The College is taking numerous other steps to help ensure a safe, healthy and productive semester. These include a rigorous weekly testing protocol; reducing the number of people on campus; redesigning indoor and outdoor classrooms and other spaces to meet state regulations; installing plexiglass barriers in high-contact locations; following CDC-recommended cleaning protocols; limiting the size of in-person gatherings; and restricting visitors to campus.
Just today, we provided additional guidance for faculty and staff pertaining to planning for fall classes, programming, workshops and small group and individual meetings. You can find this information on the new Staff and Faculty tab of the Path Forward website.
Back in June, you heard about the Camels Care Pledge that is an acknowledgment of our shared individual and community responsibility to protect each other in the coming year. If you are working on campus this fall, you will be asked to sign this pledge when you participate in your initial COVID-19 test at the testing center located at the Athletic Center. If you use a vehicle to come to campus, after your test you will receive two decals to place on the driver side and passenger side windows. These decals signal to Campus Safety that you are approved to be on campus, part of the testing process, and they will make it easier for Campus Safety as they clear cars coming through the Gatehouse. The College is looking into the possibility of also opening the Williams Street entrance at Chapel Way and having a decal on the passenger side of the vehicle will help staff at that entrance.
While at the Athletic Center, you can also pick up your wellness kit, which contains three washable and reusable masks, a bottle of hand sanitizer and information about important health and safety protocols. For those of you who are working on campus now before the testing center opens next week, you may pick up your wellness kit at the Post Office in Crozier-Williams beginning today (please bring a pen and sign the log to help us keep track of the distribution).
The testing program with the Broad Institute is linked to an app/website called CoVerified. Faculty staff and students will use CoVerified to do the following:
- Complete daily symptom checks
- Schedule times for testing on assigned testing days
- Receive notification of test results
The app/website also manages clearance gating and will assign each individual one of three status labels: Remote, Clear or Restricted.
Remote means that the person is not on campus and therefore is not expected to follow the daily symptom check and testing expectations. A person will be restricted if they do not complete their daily symptom check, miss testing days and if they are in quarantine or isolation. If a person is testing regularly, tracking their health daily and not in quarantine or isolation then they will be clear.
In various places on campus (classroom, workshops, etc.) faculty and staff can expect students to show the app status screen or website printout to demonstrate their campus status (Clear or Restricted). If students are restricted, they will not be permitted to remain in the space. The clearance gating status can also be used by department heads to ensure that their colleagues are clear to be on campus. Details about how the clearance gating function will be used on campus is forthcoming. Information on how to download the app and access the website will be sent to you the week of Aug. 17. In the meantime, you can review the app’s functionality by reading the User App Tutorial.
At our next Faculty and Staff meeting on Aug. 19, we will bring you up to date on the latest guidance and safety protocols and provide an opportunity for you to hear from infectious disease experts from Hartford HealthCare, who have been tremendous partners in our planning efforts for the fall semester. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions.
Thank you for your patience, flexibility and support during these last months. We look forward to a great start to the new term!
Dean of the Faculty
Dean of the College
Vice President for Human Resources & Organizational Development