Important COVID-19 Updates: Positive Cases And Local Businesses
Last Friday, I sent you a message about the fact that we had no new student cases for two weeks and we were starting to plan a shift to Alert Level 1–Green. I write to you today to share that we’ve taken a step back with four positive student cases confirmed yesterday. The students were moved immediately to isolation housing, and we initiated contact tracing, which enabled us to identify 20 students who began their quarantine period last night.
Based on the information from yesterday’s contact tracing, it appears that the positive cases are connected. I will not get into further details about the circumstances; but I do want to take this opportunity to remind everyone how important it is to follow the guidelines and protocols that we’ve developed. As a community, we cannot become complacent when we have periods of time without positive cases.
COVID-19 is still in our region. If you do not wear face coverings, if you do not socially distance and if you gather in rooms with peers in larger numbers than can be socially distanced, then it increases the risk of spreading COVID-19. Quite simply, if COVID-19 is in the room, it will spread. Keep in mind that when you have a negative test, it is a snapshot in time on the day that you took the test. Receiving a negative test result does not mean that you can disregard the Camels Care Pledge while engaging with peers. The expectations noted above and others outlined by the College must consistently be followed in order to avoid the spread of the virus on campus.
On a separate but related topic, there are concerns that have been shared with me regarding student behavior when eating off-campus. Specifically, I recently spoke with a manager at Slice Pizza Bar in Hodges Square who shared that they have had problems with Conn students who are not socially distancing and who are moving their furniture that has been set up to follow state requirements. The Department of Public Health recently approved their set-up, and they don’t want to lose their ability to be open for business. If you choose to leave campus and eat out, the expectation is that you eat outside and remain socially distanced. In addition to following our expectations, we need to support our local businesses by following their guidelines and expectations.
We will continue to carefully monitor the test results over the next several days and support students in isolation and quarantine. Given the uncertainty about the impact of these positive cases, we will delay a shift to Alert Level 1–Green while we evaluate the circumstances.
Dean of Students