As part of Conn’s nationally recognized response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College partnered this week with the Community Health Center of New London (a branch of the Connecticut Community Health Center) to provide vaccines to students, faculty, staff and their family members in a campus clinic.
The unprecedented effort follows a year of implementing a sophisticated testing program and enormously successful campus-wide commitments to social distancing, mask wearing and other public health measures.
“I have felt safe and cared for by the college through the consistent twice-a-week testing and guidelines that have allowed us to stay in the Green Level this semester,” said Brielle Blood ’24, who received her first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at the campus clinic.
“Having a vaccine clinic on campus is amazing and I, like many others, feel so grateful that Conn has provided this resource to us at such a convenient place.”
In all, 439 first doses of the vaccine were administered during the day-long clinic, and recipients can return to campus on May 11 for their second doses during a follow-up clinic. Conn’s vaccine drive was covered by The Day, NBC Connecticut and WFSB.
“We are so pleased to partner with Connecticut Community Health in having our students, staff, faculty and their families vaccinated today,” said Marianne Ward, the Connecticut College Test Center RN.
“As an employee of the College and a nurse, I'm thrilled to see the school take an active role as leaders in this important effort. We have many staff and faculty who have volunteered their time since last August, and we could never undertake this initiative without their support. It makes me proud to be a part of this community.”
Throughout the spring semester, Conn’s close partnership with Hartford HealthCare has also been essential in the effort to gradually vaccinate faculty and staff.
"It was wonderful to work with the Community Health Center on bringing this vaccination clinic to campus,” said Dean of Students Victor Arcelus. “Students and families have been grateful and excited about this opportunity. This partnership and the one we have with Hartford HealthCare has enabled us for the past four months to provide our community with access to vaccines as each group became eligible.”
Arcelus noted that in Conn’s athletic center, nearly 800 people were tested for COVID-19 on one basketball court, and on the other court Conn distributed nearly 450 vaccines.
“Whether it's identifying people with COVID-19 or preventing people from contracting the virus, our focus has been on campus and community safety every step of the way," Arcelus said.
“Our College community’s enthusiasm for getting vaccinated gives us a great deal of confidence in being able to return to a more normal campus life in the fall.”