Lowering COVID-19 Alert Level to Green

From: Rick Culliton and Dr. Tom McLarney

Date: February 7, 2021

To the Wesleyan Community:

Thanks to low positivity rates on campus and across the state, the Pandemic Planning Committee has decided to drop our alert level to green and relax some restrictions starting February 7.

Student dining across campus will open and campus social gatherings can take place. If the weather allows, we do suggest, when possible, using grab-and-go dining and eating outside to reduce risk. Similarly, we also recommend holding informal social gatherings outside, when the weather permits. Students may also patronize restaurants and shops in Middletown.

We also have other developments to share: the booster mandate added a valuable layer of protection from COVID-19. Wesleyan’s COVID-19 positivity rate is around 2 percent, well below that of the surrounding community. Positivity rates across the state are in steep decline from the height of the Omicron wave in mid-January.

The university will continue with its indoor mask mandate. At this point in the pandemic, we know that diligent masking is one of the easiest and most effective ways for the community to protect itself.

The CDC recommends the use of respiratory type masks (N95, KN95, and others of that type). Free masks are available at Beckham Hall and for purchase at Cardinal Tech. Masks are also readily available at stores in the surrounding community.

While there aren’t necessarily any standard rules, there are best practices we can share for getting multiple uses out of your N95 or KN95 mask. Unlike cloth masks, KN95s and N95s cannot be effectively cleaned by standard washing.

  • In a clinical setting, these masks are often single use, but they can be used multiple times. What’s crucial is making sure that the mask has maintained its integrity and is clean.
  • Have a few masks on hand, if possible, and rotate them between uses. Rest your mask for 24-48 hours. Store your masks in a dry place where they can air out between uses.
  • If your mask is soiled or ripped, it is no longer usable.
  • If the elastic is stretched, it no longer creates a firm seal to the face, so the mask would need to be replaced.

For the latest information about COVID-19 protocols on campus, please visit Keep Wes Safe.

Thank you again for your flexibility and diligence in keep everyone in the Wesleyan community healthy.

Rick Culliton, Chair Pandemic Planning Committee and Dean of Students
Dr. Tom McLarney,  Medical Director