Date: May 7, 2021
From: Tom McLarney, MD
Subject: Public Health Update – May 7, 2021
To the Wesleyan community,
Happy May, everyone! In a few short weeks, classes will end, final exams and projects will be completed, and the University will celebrate the Class of 2021 during Commencement. Summer is just around the corner.
I am happy to see COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths decrease in many states, including Connecticut. We are starting to regain a sense of normalcy as more and more people are vaccinated. Remember that you are not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after your final vaccine dose. Prior to that, you must consider yourself unvaccinated and maintain our approach to COVID safety guidelines. We received many questions about life on campus for the remainder of the semester, even for those vaccinated. To be safe, we are staying the course with face coverings, distancing, and regular COVID testing.
Students, once you are fully vaccinated, you must upload your information to the Davison Health Center. Faculty and staff, once you are fully vaccinated, we encourage you to share your information via WesPortal.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has posted helpful pictorial charts outlining the differences between which activities unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people may safely participate in. Of particular note, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are advised to continue to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, such as malls, movie theaters, and museums.
Although our optimism grows, we note that the effect that COVID is having around the world is heartbreaking. We can only hope that medical supplies and personnel, as well as vaccines, can be made available to all in need. Closer to home, we continue to acknowledge the impact that COVID has had on our local communities, family, and friends. Many of us have lost important figures in our lives without the opportunity to properly grieve and say goodbye. In addition, let us keep in our thoughts those who are suffering from long-lasting complications and symptoms—including heart and lung conditions and long-haul syndrome—as well as those whose lives have been upended by the indirect effects of the pandemic.
Our Pandemic Planning Committee has been planning for the fall semester. We will be informed by the guidelines of the CDC and the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Anticipating a fully vaccinated campus, we are looking forward to a safe semester with the full range of Wesleyan offerings. Additional details regarding the fall will be shared later in the summer.
Our students, staff, and faculty can all pat themselves on the back for their fortitude and positivity, and for the sacrifices they made to ensure a safe campus environment. A university can have the best-laid plans, but only genuine cooperation ensures success. Our Wesleyan community has come through with flying colors!
Congratulations to the graduates of the Class of 2021 and their families. I wish you the best with all future endeavors.
Wishing you a safe, healthy, and restful summer break.
Tom McLarney, MD