The University’s COVID-19 campus alert level increased to Yellow (Medium) from Green (Low) on Friday Oct. 30th for the first time this semester. The decision to raise the alert level was made by the University’s Pandemic Planning Committee, led by Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Rick Culliton. Culliton communicated the update to students in a campus-wide email.
The campus alert level was raised following the State of Connecticut’s decision to increase the City of Middletown’s alert level to orange, not because of an increase in active COVID-19 cases on campus.
According to the University’s COVID-19 Dashboard, at the time of publication, there were six active COVID-19 cases on campus (two student cases and four employee cases). Despite the change to the alert levels, Culliton noted that the number of COVID-19 cases has remained relatively steady.
“The number of cases has been very low and remains so, but we are paying attention given the rises that we have seen in the community,” Culliton wrote in an email to The Argus. “We have not seen a discernible increase over time.”
As a result of the alert level increase, the administration is advising that students limit travel off campus.
“Wesleyan is advising against all unnecessary travel from campus, with exceptions made for essential travel such as to medical appointments or the pharmacy,” Culliton wrote in the all campus email. “Because the positivity rate on campus remains quite low, no other campus restrictions are being imposed at this time.”
Despite the change in alert level, the University is not imposing any other restrictions at this time. In-person classes will continue, and students living off-campus will still be allowed to come to campus for classes but have been advised to limit their off-campus activity.
Culliton stressed that students should continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing to prevent a spike of cases on campus.
“The change comes solely in response to increasing rates in the surrounding area and serves as a reminder for all of us to be vigilant in wearing face coverings and maintaining distance between each other,” Culliton wrote in an email to The Argus.
The University will continue to track the number of COVID-19 cases on campus and in the local area, and will inform students, faculty and staff of any changes.
“We will continue to monitor positivity rates on and off campus and if we see concerning changes, we will revisit the campus alert level,” Culliton wrote in an email to The Argus.