Date: August 3, 2020
Subject: Updated State Guidance on Arrival Plans
From: Mike Whaley
In response to Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s recent Executive Order/Travel Advisory, Wesleyan has been advised to make changes to our arrival plans. The University is thus updating information we previously provided, and it is possible we will need to make further changes as the public health context or state guidance evolves.
The state has indicated that college students coming to Connecticut from affected states (those with high levels of Covid activity) or from other countries are not eligible to “test out” of the required two-week quarantine. In an effort to have an effective quarantine on campus, Wesleyan has determined that all students on campus will be expected to quarantine for two weeks—from August 24 until September 7. To be clear: Students coming from affected states or from outside of the U.S. who arrive in Connecticut after August 24 will still need to meet the state’s 14-day quarantine; thus, their quarantine may extend beyond September 7. Those students coming from Connecticut and other states not on the list of affected states will only need to quarantine from when they move in to campus until September 7.
All classes will be delivered remotely for the first week, beginning August 31. For those courses being taught on campus, in-person instruction will begin on September 7. (Students affected by the state’s Travel Advisory who arrive on campus after August 24 may still need to access instruction remotely at this point due to the quarantine requirement and faculty are prepared to make the necessary accommodations).
For the period of quarantine, all students will be expected to remain in their residence except to pick up to-go meals and to get a Covid-19 test at the testing site. Students will not be permitted to leave campus at all during these two weeks. Students will be tested two times per week, with the first test taking place upon arrival to campus. Once a student receives two negative test results, students living in residence halls will be permitted to expand the remaining time of their quarantine to interactions with others living on their residence hall floor or to similar sized groups of “neighbors.” (These expanded groups will be designated by the Office of Residential Life). During the entire quarantine, students will still be expected to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing.
Please realize that many of our residence halls are not air conditioned. We understand that this quarantine is going to be challenging. Given the new directives from the state, we believe this is the best way to allow our campus to meet the quarantine requirements, undergo frequent testing, and work to identify and isolate any Covid+ students as soon as possible in order to minimize the risk of an outbreak on campus. If the requirements of the quarantine cause you to reconsider studying on campus for the fall, please contact your class dean as soon as possible to make a request to study remotely.
Though students may not “test out” of the state’s quarantine requirement, in order to reduce the likelihood of a student who is Covid+ coming to campus, Wesleyan is strongly recommending that all students who are able to get tested for Covid prior to leaving home do so. The state is recommending this test be performed within 72 hours of arriving on campus. (Note: this is a change from the 14-day window that we previously communicated). You will be asked to upload a record of a negative test result to an app, which we will introduce to students in the coming weeks. If your test comes back positive for Covid, please do not travel to campus, but seek medical advice from your healthcare provider. Because Wesleyan will be testing all students upon arrival, those students who are not able to get a test in their home state will have their first test upon arrival to campus. All students are also asked to self-quarantine for two weeks prior to arriving on campus, and especially to avoid large gatherings.
Finally, there has been a change to move-in due to the latest Travel Advisory from the state. We had previously announced that students would be allowed to have one family member accompany them into the residences to assist with the move-in process. In accordance with the state’s latest guidance, only students will be permitted to enter the residences. Therefore, students should pack lightly, and only bring what they can carry to their rooms by themselves.
Dean Mike Whaley
Vice President for Student Affairs