Weekly Update from the Dean of Students

The below email was sent to graduate and undergraduate students on all campuses.

Dear Huskies,

This is a meaningful time for us right now.  Our loved ones with high-risk demographics are now, finally, being vaccinated.  I can’t imagine what a relief that is for all of you as your loved ones – parents, grandparents, first responders – are now achieving immunity.

Today, I want to:

  • Review the latest testing data
  • Discuss the impact of the state’s recent vaccination plan on students with pre-existing medical needs
  • Share updated information on access to off-campus surveillance testing

Here is the latest testing data at Storrs. More information is available on the COVID dashboard.

Nice job, off-campus (again).  We did have a number of on-campus positives present earlier this week.  Let’s continue to do the right thing: avoid gatherings, wear masks, and keep our physical distance from one another.  It’s the only way, my friends.  Keep it up.

If we can continue to do so, I’m hopeful that we can change our current color of yellow on the Storrs campus and allow some changes to residence hall COVID-19 restrictions.  More to come next week if our on-campus health improves.

Impact of State Vaccination Plan on UConn Students with Pre-Existing Conditions

As you know the Governor has released an updated, age-based vaccination plan.  This means that traditionally aged students will not receive access to the vaccine until May.  I am reminded that our concern for others has always been our greatest strength as a university during this pandemic.  I know this will continue to be our truth moving forward as we wait for our vaccination.

While we wait, SHaW will continue to advocate and provide for those students under our care who have significant pre-existing conditions.  Fortunately, at UConn that population is relatively small.  Those students, like you, have maintained their good health through the dedicated practice of mask wearing, physical distancing, and good hygiene.  Let’s keep that up and, most importantly, know that you can rely on your medical providers, such as SHaW for our Storrs students, to provide you the excellent care that maintains your good health.

Off-Campus Storrs Surveillance Testing Strategy Effective March 1:

First, surveillance testing will occur at the north side of the Field House and will be appointment-based only. Testing appointments can be scheduled through the SHaW Patient Portal.  COVID-19 surveillance testing will not be available on a walk-up basis. As advised by DPH, 25% of the off-campus population with an ongoing in-person commitment will be identified for testing on a weekly basis.  In addition:

  • Off-campus students with an on-campus commitment will have access to five self-requested surveillance tests in addition to any testing requested by SHaW.
  • Off-campus students without an on-campus commitment will have access to three self-requested surveillance tests in addition to any testing requested by SHaW.

Second, saliva-based pooled gargle testing is available on a volunteer basis to off-campus Storrs students with an on-campus commitment.  Click here for more information and to sign up to participate. Any student in a COVID-19 positive pool will be directed to individual, diagnostic, rapid PCR testing by SHaW within 24 hours of the positive result.

Finally, any Storrs student who experiences symptoms of COVID-19 should seek immediate medical evaluation and testing by contacting SHaW directly before engaging with the campus community.

Regional students are reminded to notify SHaW of any positive COVID test results through the SHaW Patient Portal, follow the guidance of your medical primary care provider, and contact the Student Services office on your campus for academic support.

Stay Connected

All of our campuses are encouraged to participate in activities that keep us virtually connected.  Wherever you are, join us in enjoying the connectedness and community that we call UConn.

All good things,

 

Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD
she/her/hers
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students