Latest test results and next steps outdoors

Dear Campus Community, 

Over the past two days we have continued testing through binax rapid antigen tests and PCR tests and through this testing 53 additional students have tested positive. Many of these students have symptoms and are not feeling well. Friday’s test results come in tomorrow, and Monday and Tuesday’s test results come in Tuesday and Wednesday--these test results will be important in determining next steps on the timing for returning to in-person classes and broader indoor engagement. 

I know that the circumstances have been difficult on many people, in particular students as you navigate campus with less flexibility than you had a week ago. As I always do, I am in regular contact with Hartford HealthCare infectious disease staff and tonight we discussed beginning to relax outdoor restrictions to enable more contact among students and between students, faculty, and staff in outdoor spaces. It will also enable us to begin to once again offer programs, athletic practices, rehearsals, and club and organization meetings outside. 

As we make these changes I have some specific guidance as we navigate this shift in expectations for outdoor engagement: 

  • Until we have more test results coming in during the next several days, continue to wear a mask outdoors when you are closer than six feet to other people. This will provide the most protection while we identify whether additional people are positive with COVID-19. 

  • Students gathering outside for informal social gatherings with friends should limit group size to roughly 6 people to avoid having a high volume of people in close proximity to each other. Be sure that you are wearing a mask when together and closer than six feet apart.   

Students, I’ll be in touch about zoom meetings next week where we will discuss the way forward on the other side of the outbreak. In the meantime, I want to emphasize that you should not be going off campus during this period of time and not hosting friends in your room. 

The weather looks beautiful this weekend so I encourage everyone to enjoy time outside on campus and in the arboretum.  

Sincerely, 

Victor Arcelus
Dean of Students