Details on the Shift to Alert Level 3--Orange

Dear Campus Community,

On Monday, students who were experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and some of their friends completed rapid result BINAX antigen tests. Out of this group, 20 students tested positive. Through contact tracing, we determined that the students who had contracted the virus had been socializing in cars, in friends’ rooms or apartments, at parties or in bars without wearing a mask. 

This morning, the Broad PCR test results from Monday came in and an additional 34 students tested positive. Today’s positive students will be contacted over the course of this morning and moved to isolation housing. 

As a result of this rise in cases we are shifting to Alert Level 3-Orange. We consulted with Hartford HealthCare and have concluded that, to limit further spread, we must shift campus operations for a week to ten days as we monitor test results.

Classes are cancelled for today as faculty transition their courses to a virtual format. In most cases, classes will resume tomorrow, but some faculty may need more time to shift to the virtual format. Therefore, students should monitor email for instructions from professors. 

The Testing Center continues to be open today—students scheduled to test today must go to test. Students with symptoms today (regardless of their testing day) should contact Student Health Services and test at the Testing Center at 4:40 p.m. Faculty and staff may continue to go to the Testing Center for their weekly test.

Given the Alert Level 3-Orange status, the student body is now in cautionary quarantine. This means the following: 

  • Students may only go into their residence hall and can only be on their floor in the building. Students can only be in their room or apartment with roommates/apartmentmates. Friends may not visit in rooms. 

  • Students may socialize with a maximum of three students outside, socially distanced and wearing masks. 

  • Students living off-campus may come to campus for testing, package/item pick-up, visit Student Health Services, or for food if they have a meal plan. Students should not go into the community unless it is urgent and must not have other students or visitors to their off-campus property. 

  • Students may interact with faculty and staff outside if socially distanced (six feet) and wearing masks.

  • Residence hall common rooms are closed.

  • Shain Library is not open to students.

  • Dining Services is Grab and Go: masks must be worn inside while picking up food.  

  • Coffee shops are closed.

  • Athletic practices for varsity and club sports are suspended and athletic facilities are closed.

  • Club and organization meetings and activities are shifted to a virtual format.

  • Post office pick-up is open: masks must be worn inside while picking up mail/packages. 

  • Bookstore is pick-up only: masks must be worn inside while picking up items.

  • Campus Centers (LGBTQIA, Unity, Hillel, Global Commons, ARC, etc.) are closed with limited access to students with permission. 

  • Cro and Harkness Chapel are open. Masks must be worn inside and students may not be inside with other students, faculty, or staff. 

  • Students may not have visitors to campus.

  • Students must receive approval from their class dean to leave campus to attend to urgent matters in New London County.

  • If students need to leave campus to attend to urgent matters beyond New London County they must receive approval from their class dean.

  • Students should avoid driving in vehicles with others and if it is urgent may only ride in vehicles with roommates/apartmentmates.

  • Camel Ride by Lyft service is suspended. 

Essential staff will be on campus to manage dining operations, campus safety and other critical functions. Non-essential staff who are able to work remotely may choose to do so, or, they may report to work as scheduled on campus. Division heads will follow up with staff to provide further instruction. 

Meetings with students should be shifted to a virtual format. Staff and faculty may meet with no more than two students at a time outside with masks on and socially distanced (six feet).

Students, we need all of you to do your part in helping to limit further spread of the virus—that is the only way we can shift out of Alert Level 3-Orange. Getting vaccinated was a critical first step for keeping yourself and the community safe; getting tested twice a week is a second step that helps identify positive cases in order to minimize spread; and especially in our type of residential setting, mask wearing is a third and absolutely critical step to prevent yourself and others from contracting COVID-19. The positive cases we are now seeing are the direct result of not following the mask-wearing protocols. Please hold yourself and each other accountable to this expectation across campus and in the community. 

Thank you for paying attention to the details in this message. If we all pull together for this short period of time we are hopeful to soon shift back to yellow or green. 


Victor Arcelus
Dean of Students