The message below was sent by Eleanor JB Daugherty, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, to students on all campuses on November 12, 2021
Subject: Think Spring
Hi there Huskies,
First, shout out to the incredible folks who joined me in the Confronting COVID panels on our campuses. It is an honor to come together with students, practitioners, and faith leaders to discuss our success and prepare for our future.
Speaking of the future…I owe you an update on the spring semester.
First things first, we’re not closing campus after Thanksgiving. This seems to be a rumor that won’t stop. Spend some time with those you love, be safe, and COME BACK. Classes and finals await.
A few more spring highlights:
- Testing and Vaccination: The COVID-19 Policy requires that students engaged in in-person learning either demonstrate proof of vaccination or receive an exemption. Students entering UConn for the Spring semester or beginning in-person learning will need to comply with the policy. Exempted students applying for on-campus housing may need to have their exemption requests reviewed again. Please take the time to ensure the student portal is up to date with your vaccination or apply for an exemption.
- Boosters and Third Doses: You get a booster! But only if you want one. Boosters and third doses are not required but they will be available to students 6 months after Moderna/Pfizer vaccination and 2 months after J & J/Janssen. This is because adults ages 18 and over living or working in a high risk setting, like a university, are eligible for a booster. Storrs students may schedule an appointment for a booster or third dose by calling SHaW at 860-486-2719. Regional students may schedule an appointment via the Vaccine Finder. Please consult with your medical provider on whether you should receive a third dose or a booster.
- Housing: Get excited!! The consistency of our good health and our high rate of vaccination (you did that, students) means we can release more apartments into the housing stock for Spring housing selection. Beds that were previously set aside in Northwood and Charter Oak for isolation are coming back to the regular housing stock! Stamford isolation beds will largely remain the same.
- Dining at Storrs: Brace for impact: to-go containers are going away in the spring. To-go will remain for students with accommodations and those observing quarantine. Students with those measures in place will receive directions from CSD or SHaW on how to obtain dining.
- Masking and Color-Coded System: I hope you enjoyed my ode to orange last week. Feel free to look it over to get a sense of why we continue to be cautious and maintain required masking indoors. The Medical team shared with me today that we do have confirmed flu at Storrs. Please allow this to be reminder to continue to follow good hygiene, masking, and preventative measures to protect our health.
As you know, most of us will leave campus for the semester break and travel to our homes and other locations all over the world. That means it is wise to re-open in orange and then, when appropriate, relax once our good health is established. I know you may approach that desire to relax with some skepticism given the course of this semester. However, our intention is to relax masking as our health and the global presence of COVID-19 warrants. My crystal ball is not clear on when that will be but it’s our goal when the time is right.
- International Travel Back to the US: International students traveling back to the US will need to follow the most current CDC guidelines. The University continues to accept WHO authorized vaccines as proof of vaccination.
- Classes: My friends in the Provost’s office have shared that class modality will largely be the same as this current semester with around 90% of classes being in-person.
- More on testing: In the spring, the Storrs campus will continue to offer extensive testing to symptomatic students and identified close contacts. If you wish to be tested, students should continue to contact the Advice Nurse for evaluation and access to testing. If students are not symptomatic, SHaW can advise on how to obtain a test.
Regional students should consult their provider or call 211.
All UConn students who are exempted from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement will participate in surveillance testing and re-entry testing as directed by the University.
We have come a long way. Let’s embrace this journey together. There is no denying that the journey has been hard and there is still much to do for the health and safety of others.
Keep caring, my friends. Be well.
Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students