Revised Off-Campus and Visitor Expectations
Over the past week, I’ve sent two other messages addressing travel and guests/visitors and there are some lingering questions. In order to provide greater clarity, we revised the expectations and formalized some of the processes. I will begin by saying that some of our peers have completely restricted students’ ability to leave campus—students are not permitted to go anywhere locally or leave the area. It would be easier if we followed a similar policy on campus, but we are trying to provide some limited flexibility. With that said, the overarching goal is for you to stay on campus and to have very limited visitors (family only when at a lower alert level). As I noted in my message this weekend, the purpose of the onboarding process is to establish a Conn campus without COVID-19. Students traveling off campus and people coming on campus pose a risk to this foundation of low to no COVID-19 in our community. As a result, there are limitations and restrictions on your ability to travel and have visitors.
Given the questions students and families are asking, we are providing greater detail about transportation, expectations with visitors and requirements related to travel (local and distant), as well as formalizing the process to have off-campus distant travel requests reviewed.
The College continues to evaluate options related to local transportation. We hope to soon have more information on this. This past week we reviewed our vehicle policy with our infectious disease medical professionals. When we shift to a lower alert level, which will hopefully happen soon, we will allow students to be in a vehicle with one other person. Both individuals need to be wearing masks and windows should be open to facilitate greater ventilation. If you take an Uber/Lyft, be sure that you and the driver are wearing masks and you have your window open.
Right now, while we are in Orange-Alert Level 3, visitors may not come to campus, unless it is an extenuating circumstance with approval from your class dean. We hope to soon be able to shift to a lower alert level, and at that point, families will be allowed to come to campus. Keep in mind that if they come, they may not enter your residence hall and everyone needs to wear masks around each other and be socially distanced. When you were home, you didn't necessarily wear masks with family members because they were part of your home community. That is not the case anymore, given that you are living here as part of this community. As a result, masks and social distancing are required.
You need to register visiting family with the College, which you can do in CamelWeb or in the CC Mobile app.
- In CamelWeb, go to the section For Students and under student links look for Register Visiting Family. Click on the link and complete the form.
- In the CC Mobile app, go to Campus Life, click on the Register Visiting Family tile and complete the form.
This information goes to the gatehouse so that the Campus Safety staff member can allow your visiting family to enter the campus.
The College expects you to limit local off-campus engagement to necessary locations and purposes, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and doctor’s appointments, or if required as part of a class-related off-campus engagement or College-authorized activity. If you have other extenuating circumstances, you can speak with your class dean to determine whether you can leave campus for the particular purpose desired. You may also leave campus if you are going to be in outdoor spaces where you can be socially distanced from other people (e.g. outdoor dining, public park). You may not eat indoors. In all circumstances, you are required to wear a mask and practice social distancing whenever you leave campus grounds. The local area is defined as New London County (Old Lyme to the west, CT/RI border to the east, Norwich/Lisbon/Sprague to the North), which roughly encompasses a 15-mile radius from the campus.
As we create a stable campus with a low prevalence of COVID-19, people traveling out of town and to different states can negatively impact our campus by bringing COVID-19 into our community. For the duration of the semester, we expect you to stay here on campus and not leave New London County unless there is an extenuating circumstance (e.g. medical needs or bereavement) that requires you to leave. In order to manage requests more effectively, if you have an extenuating circumstance you need to get approval from your class dean by following the steps below:
- Complete the Off-Campus Travel Approval Form.
- Submit the form no later than Wednesdays at 5 p.m. for a response by that Friday.
- Class deans will review requests on Thursdays and may follow up with you for additional information/context.
- Your class dean will inform you by Friday morning if your request is approved or denied.
- Late and last-minute requests will not be considered as the class deans will not be reviewing requests over the weekends.
If you are approved to leave the State of Connecticut overnight, when you come back to campus you will need to return to onboard quarantine until you have two on-campus negative tests (5 to 7 days). You will likely not be approved to go to a travel advisory state, but in the unusual circumstance where this is unavoidable, you will need to be in onboard quarantine for 14 days upon your return.
Students Living Off-Campus and Commuting
Students who live off-campus and commute to the College are expected to follow the same expectations noted above.
As I noted earlier, we are trying to provide some limited flexibility. However, if COVID-19 levels increase on campus, in the local community or in the region and beyond, we may need to adjust and further restrict access to travel and guests. I hope this additional information is helpful as you adjust to life at the College during the pandemic. Keeping the campus healthy and maintaining a low level of COVID-19 is a community effort. We all need to consider our choices carefully so that we keep ourselves and each other healthy.
Dean of Students