Current Rise in COVID-19 Cases

Dear Students

Over the past several weeks, we have had a relatively steady number of student COVID-19 cases on campus (between 13 and 28). I want to make you aware that we currently have an uptick in COVID-19 cases–72 cases so far this week. It appears that many students are positive, along with their roommates/apartment-mates or with their peers who engage in similar group activities. 

We have only one positive employee case this week. The decline in cases with employees over the past several weeks is consistent with what we are seeing across the state with a steady drop in COVID-19 positivity. Student cases, on the other hand, are not following this trend. We do know that other campuses are seeing increases as well (Wesleyan over the past two weeks had 342 cases, Trinity has 153 active cases, Amherst has 103 active cases, Middlebury has 97 active cases and Colby has 58 active cases). Bates had this type of rise in cases a few weeks ago and with a coordinated effort they were able to bring their numbers down. It is now our turn to do the same. 

As we go into the weekend, we ask all students to take steps to prevent COVID-19 transmission. We need to minimize the likelihood of students spreading COVID-19 to each other through informal and social contact. What does this mean? 

  • Consistently wear a mask indoors (including in the residence halls) 

  • Keep the number of students gathered together indoors small (follow the guidelines for Alert Level 2-Yellow–one peer per room/apartment resident and no more than roughly four people in large open areas)

  • Social host events are paused

  • Do not go to area bars

  • Do not eat inside restaurants or bars in the region 

  • Tomorrow’s 100 days event for seniors is postponed to April 2. Please put the rapid test you picked up for use tomorrow in a safe place so that you can use it on April 2.

  • You may continue to eat in the dining hall; however, we recommend that you eat with a consistent small group of students and minimize the time that you are unmasked. You may also choose to use the Grab and Go option.  

If we take these steps for the next week, we can bring the number of cases down and move away from these additional precautions. The COVID-19 planning committee is discussing potential plans for changes in masking policies and testing protocols that would be implemented given declining COVID-19 levels in Connecticut and the region, but they will not be implemented on campus until our campus levels are lower. 

To keep track of campus COVID-19 levels, please check the dashboard

Thank you,

Victor Arcelus
Dean of Students