c/o Ava Nederlander, Photo Editor

c/o Ava Nederlander, Photo Editor

As a result of low COVID-19 case levels on campus and high vaccination rates, the University’s Pandemic Planning Committee has relaxed restrictions on outdoor, academic gatherings for the remainder of the semester. Beginning June 1, some campus services will reopen, and on July 1, University-funded travel to areas with low to moderate risk for COVID-19 will be permitted. This announcement was made by Dean of Students and Chair of the Pandemic Planning Committee Rick Culliton in an all-campus email on Wednesday, May 5.

Specifically, the changes are as follows. Beginning immediately, academic and administrative departments may host outdoor gatherings of up to 20 people, as long as attendees are part of the Wesleyan community and continue to wear masks per the University mandate.

For the rest of the semester, the Pandemic Planning Committee requests that students continue to follow all of the COVID-19 guidelines and regulations currently in place. Despite the change in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals, the use of face masks will continue to be required on campus.

“For the remainder of the Spring semester, we are continuing with the safety measures that have helped us have the successful year that we have had,” Culliton wrote in an email to The Argus. “We know people are beginning to get their second vaccine dose but we also know most of campus will not be fully vaccinated until just about when Commencement takes place.”

Secondly, beginning on Tuesday, June 1, the University is requiring all students to be vaccinated and upload their vaccination records to their Davison Health Center portal. The University is also encouraging faculty and staff to be vaccinated.

Additionally, many campus services will remain open over the summer with altered hours. This includes WesStation from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Olin and Science Libraries from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Usdan University Center will also be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. For summer dining, Usdan Marketplace will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The Marketplace will be available to both those with summer meal plans and those without; however it will remain cashless, as it has been for the 2020-2021 academic year. This will be the only campus dining facility open from June 1 until August 25; other campus dining options will reopen on September 1.

Lastly, beginning on June 1, the COVID-19 visitor restrictions will be lifted. As a result, prospective students and families will be allowed to come to campus to tour with the Office of Admission.

On July 1, the University will reinstate University-funded travel. This will allow faculty, staff, and students to travel both domestically and internationally. The University has specified, however, that destinations must be ranked at two or below for the CDC COVID-19 risk level.

According to Culliton, these changes are largely possible as a result of student cooperation with restrictions throughout the semester which have kept campus COVID-19 rates low despite the high number of cases in Middletown.

“I want to sincerely thank you all for your tireless efforts toward making Wesleyan a safe place to be this academic year,” Culliton wrote in the all-campus email. “Because of your care, diligence, and cooperation in following the community guidelines, we have been able to maintain COVID-19 positivity rates well below the level predicted by our modeling.”

Hallie Sternberg can be reached at hsternberg@wesleyan.edu on Twitter @halsternberg.

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