Important Message: Fall Semester COVID-19 Plans

Dear Students, 

I hope that you had a restful summer and are looking forward to being on campus in a few short weeks. Staff and faculty are preparing for the upcoming year, and we are eager to see our campus community back together so that we can resume our fully residential education experience in New London. 

As we launch the 2021-2022 academic year, COVID-19 continues to play a role in how we operate the campus. In early summer, with widely available vaccines and declining infection rates, we began developing plans with fewer COVID-19 related protocols for the fall. However, given the Delta variant and a recent rise in cases globally and locally, we will start the year with a few more precautions than originally anticipated. Thank you for your patience as I know you have been waiting for this information. 

Vaccination
Our plan is to return to normal density in the residence halls, dining halls, classrooms and other spaces while maintaining COVID-19 precautions. A key component of this plan is our campus vaccination status. As of this week, the College has heard from 84% of you, with the vast majority vaccinated and fewer than 1% of students with approved exemptions. We anticipate, then, a 98–99% vaccination rate among students.

We have also been collecting vaccination data from all College employees. Of those who have reported, 97.5% are fully vaccinated. We expect to have data from everyone by mid August, and anticipate that more than 90% of our faculty and staff will be fully vaccinated as the semester begins.

Please note that we must receive your vaccination record before you arrive. Upload your record to the Online Student Health Services Portal accessible from the Student Health Services website. If you arrive on campus without a vaccination record; if you have not arranged for a religious or medical exemption; or if you have not communicated to us your need to be vaccinated when you arrive, you will not be able to receive your room key or be enrolled for the semester. 

Path Forward
I encourage you to carefully review the Path Forward website, which is the home for all of our COVID-19 related information. In particular, I ask you to review the Student Guidance page that provides details about how we will start the year (these protocols go into effect on August 11). Under Student Guidance you will learn how we plan to activate student life in the classrooms, residence halls, athletics, clubs/organizations, and beyond. There are also details about mask protocols. In short, we plan to start the year with masking indoors and then adapt as we evaluate campus and local conditions. Watch for regular emails from me and refer to the Path Forward website for the most up-to-date information.   

As you review the Path Forward site, there are two elements that you should read closely. The first is the College’s Alert Levels. Alert Level 1-Green is revised to reflect campus operations within a widely vaccinated campus. As a community, we will adjust operations if circumstances on campus or in the region warrant it. The second document is the Camels Care Pledge. This serves as the foundation for our collective work to reduce the risks of COVID-19, in order to protect not only ourselves but also our friends, our families, and our faculty and staff—some of whom may be more vulnerable to illness than others and caring for children and other family members who are unvaccinated. We also want to protect our neighbors in the New London area and beyond.

All students are expected to bring a signed copy of the Camels Care Pledge along with a signed Testing Consent Form (Fact Sheet for Patients) to the Test Center when you check-in upon arrival. 

Campus Arrival
When you arrive on campus, your first stop is the Testing Center located at the Dayton Hockey Arena at the Athletic Center.  

  • New student arrival is between 8 a.m. and noon on Aug. 26

  • Returning student arrival is Aug. 29 or 30 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

  • For the Class of 2024, we are hosting a special Student and Family Welcome Day--Sophomores should arrive the morning of the 29th in order to participate in this event.

You will receive more details about your return to campus in separate messages. Any of you who are approved to arrive earlier than the dates listed above should follow the arrival instructions given to you by the staff member who approved your early arrival. 

If you have any questions please email COVID19ResponseTeam@conncoll.edu. I look forward to seeing you on campus in the coming weeks. 

Sincerely, 

Victor Arcelus
Dean of Students