c/o Henry Weed, Assistant Photo Editor

c/o Henry Weed, Assistant Photo Editor

Freeman Athletic Center will remain closed until Nov. 25—when the majority of students will leave campus for Thanksgiving Break—Dean of Students and Chair of the University’s Pandemic Planning Committee (PPC) Rick Culliton announced in an all-campus email on Nov. 11. Athletic teams will continue to practice outdoors following the University’s safety protocols.

The University’s COVID-19 alert level remains at Yellow (Medium) and at the time of publication, there were nine active cases on campus.

Despite opening on Sept. 14 and implementing new safety protocols, Freeman has been closed since Nov. 4 due to rising COVID-19 cases on campus and in the athletic community.

The original plan was for Freeman to reopen on Nov. 10, but Culliton and the PPC ultimately decided to cancel the reopening. In his all-campus email, Culliton cited rising COVID-19 cases in Connecticut and on-campus cases tied to the athletic community as one of the reasons for the closure.

“We have made this decision out of an abundance of caution due to a few recent COVID-19 cases on campus tied to Athletics,” Culliton wrote in his email on Nov. 4. 

The closing of Freeman means that all indoor athletic facilities will be unavailable to students, faculty, and staff, including the Natatorium, the Spurrier-Snyder Rink, the Bacon Field House, the Silloway Gymnasium, the Andersen Fitness Center, and the Rosenbaum Squash Center. 

Athletic teams may continue to practice together outdoors. Teams may make use of the campus’s fields, running trails, outdoor track, and outdoor weight tent. Outdoor athletic training will continue to require face masks, distancing, and training in smaller groups. 

“Athletic teams will continue to practice and train outdoors following the safety protocols that have gotten us so successfully to this point in the semester,” Culliton wrote in his email to the campus community. 

Annie Roach can be reached at aroach@wesleyan.edu. 

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