Center for Housing Equity and Opportunity in Eastern Connecticut launches with inaugural gathering at Conn
The White House and the U.S. Department of Education is challenging colleges and universities across the country to join their efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic, and Connecticut College is rising to that challenge.
Colleges participating in the COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge commit to taking three key actions to help get their campus communities vaccinated: engaging every student, faculty, and staff member; organizing their college communities; and delivering vaccine access for all. The challenge builds on several federal efforts aimed at making it easier and more accessible for Americans across the country to get vaccinated.
“Everyone has a role to play in ending this pandemic, including your college or university,” The White House’s challenge reads. “As President Biden stated in looking ahead to July 4th: ‘In two months, let’s celebrate our independence as a nation, and our independence of this virus. We can do this. We will do this.’”
Connecticut College is already undertaking all three steps outlined by the challenge, including communicating about the importance of vaccines and their availability to every student, faculty and staff member; partnering with Hartford HealthCare to offer faculty and access to closed vaccine clinics; and partnering with the Community Health Center of New London to host two vaccine clinics on campus. In addition, the College is collecting vaccine status information from faculty and staff and is requiring students to receive the vaccine before returning to campus this fall.
More than 430 people received both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during clinics held on campus in April and May.
“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,” said Brielle Blood ’24, who was vaccinated at the campus clinic.
On the day of the first campus clinic, Dean of Students Victor Arcelus noted that at the same time nearly 450 people were being vaccinated in one part of the athletic center, nearly 800 people were tested for COVID-19 in another as part of the College’s robust proactive testing program.
“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.