From the Executive Vice President, re: Campus Health and Safety

January 21, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

As we near the start of the spring semester, we will adhere to the health and safety protocols that served us well during the fall, as detailed in our updated reopening plan. The fact that we were able to keep COVID-19 positivity rates to modest levels and maintain our campus operations until the Thanksgiving break says a great deal about our community and its shared resilience and commitment to student success.

In that spirit, I want to reiterate the recent request by President Bertolino that as a precautionary measure, all employees take a free COVID-19 test at a site near their hometown during the week before we commence on-ground teaching and working on Feb. 1.

This, along with continued social distancing, wearing of masks and other safety precautions will help us provide the safest possible reopening and ensure a good start to the semester.

As during the fall, COVID kits with disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and masks, will be available on request at Facilities Operations. Department chairs/supervisors should contact Lisa Kortfelt at kortfeltl1@southernct.edu or 203-392-7073 to arrange for pickup.

On a related topic, we are completing the roster of eligible employees to submit to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for COVID-19 vaccinations in the next phase (1b) of the state’s rollout. The roster includes faculty teaching hybrid or fully on-ground courses and staff providing on-ground services during the spring.

Currently, the DPH is prioritizing vaccine access to those aged 75 and over, so we have been asked to wait for a few days to upload our list of names. Once this is done, employees on the roster will receive an email with a link enabling them to set up an appointment at an off-campus vaccination center. Given the number of people statewide potentially eligible for Phase 1b, we have been told that this next wave of vaccinations may take two to three months.

Faculty who are teaching solely online during the spring semester, and staff who are working remotely, will become eligible in future stages of the rollout. While the vaccine is voluntary, everyone is strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity as it becomes available.

Please note that there are also employees who may become eligible for this next phase due to their age or pre-existing health conditions (phase 1B will soon be extended to those aged 65 and older). They will be able to register themselves to receive the vaccine in their home communities and should monitor the rollout plan administered by the DPH.

We will continue to update you as more information becomes available. I thank everyone in advance for your cooperation during the coming weeks and months to maintain the safest possible campus environment for our students, faculty and staff.

Sincerely,

Mark Rozewski
Executive Vice President