Date: August 19, 2021
From: Michael S. Roth, Nicole Stanton, Andy Tanaka
Subject: Prepare for Fall Semester
To the Wesleyan community:
As we prepare for fall semester, we can tell you that 95 percent of employees are vaccinated –with about 4 percent requiring medical or religious exemptions – and that we anticipate similar percentages with respect to students. Those receiving exemptions will wear masks on campus and will be tested for COVID-19 regularly. While we watch the data on the Delta variant with concern, we are well-protected and in a good place to start the semester with in-person classes and co-curricular activities.
Vaccination is the surest way to assure our health and well-being. Only those who have been vaccinated or have had approved exemptions will be permitted on campus.
We have the following protocols planned for the fall:
- All new and returning students will be tested upon returning to campus. Wesleyan’s testing partner, the Broad Institute, is providing an anterior nasal swab Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. International students who are not fully vaccinated with a Federal Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) approved COVID-19 vaccine will self-quarantine for seven days and will receive a COVID test upon arrival and another three to five days after arrival. International students vaccinated with a non-FDA or non-WHO approved vaccine will be vaccinated with an approved vaccine once they arrive in the U.S.
- Students will be tested a second time during the week of September 6 as the average incubation period of those exposed to the Delta variant is understood to be three to five days. This gives us confidence that we will be able to identify and isolate any students who may have been exposed while traveling to campus.
- Testing will be available to all faculty and staff on August 31 and during the week of September 6. Use the CT Testing Locator to locate the nearest testing site if you wish to be tested prior to that week.
During the semester:
- Only unvaccinated faculty, students and staff with approved exemptions will test weekly—Wednesdays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Fayerweather Building. Appointments are not required. Unvaccinated staff who are unable to test on Wednesdays must submit their weekly test results to Donna Brewer, Director of Benefits, by 5 p.m. on Fridays.
- The university will continue to monitor positivity rates and is prepared to increase testing as needed.
- Students who experience even mild symptoms should remain in their rooms, wear a mask, and contact Davison Health Center to arrange for a rapid antigen test. Faculty and staff who experience mild symptoms should inform their supervisors/department chairs and remain at home until they receive a negative test result.
- If a student tests positive, they will need to isolate for 10 days. Isolation will be either at the Inn at Middletown or, if appropriate, in their campus residence depending on their living situation, presence of symptoms, vaccination status and the health status of their roommate(s). Staff and faculty who test positive should contact Human Resources and will be asked to self-quarantine until cleared by a health care provider.
- Close contacts will not need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated, asymptomatic and have no immunocompromising medical issues. If any of the latter applies, consultation with the medical staff at Davison Health Center will determine the course of action.
- Close contacts will be required to wear masks for 14 days or obtain a COVID-19 test three to five days after exposure. If that test is negative and they remain asymptomatic, they can continue pre-exposure activities.
- As we begin the semester, masks are required indoors on campus except in one’s own private residential bedroom or in one’s own private office. This includes in shared public spaces, such as classrooms/meeting rooms, the library, dining, residential common areas and some office configurations. When in doubt, please wear a mask. We will continue to assess the need for an indoor mask mandate and provide an update in mid-September.
- Students who are unable to wear a mask because of a medical condition are required to consult with Health Services and/or with their primary health care provider, and faculty and staff who are unable to wear a mask because of a medical condition must complete the Special Considerations Form.
- Wesleyan requires all visitors (contractor, vendors and attendees to athletic events, performances and conferences) to be fully vaccinated or have received an exemption from the vaccine mandate.
- All visitors will need to provide proof of having been fully vaccinated.
- For Arrival Day, each student is limited to two fully vaccinated guests to enter their residential building and assist with moving in. After moving in, no visitors will be permitted in the residential buildings.
- University-funded travel (domestic and international) is permitted for fully vaccinated employees and students so long as the destination is rated COVID-level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information, please refer to the CDC Travel Guidance website. To assist employees and students traveling abroad, the Fries Center for Global Studies has set up a travel registry where staff, faculty and students traveling outside the U.S. are encouraged to sign up.
- All international travelers should be tested three to five days upon return to the U.S. regardless of their vaccination status (those fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine).
OTHER CAMPUS ACTIVITIES
- Dining will be grab and go outside on Arrival Day with normal dining resuming for students beginning with dinner on Arrival Day. Grab and go will be the option for students in self-quarantine.
- Athletics will resume full conference play and championships for all sports. The Freeman Athletic Center will be open for members of the campus community and masks are required.
- Cabinet members will continue to direct their division’s work plans. Human Resources has released an alternative work arrangements policy that will guide some of these work plans. Employees should consult with their supervisor regarding work plans.
For more details on other safety guidelines that our campus community will continue to follow, please visit Keep Wes Safe and review our Code of Conduct (for students).
Thank you for your continued cooperation as we move forward into what we believe will be a productive and successful 2021-22 academic year.
Michael S. Roth
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Treasurer