The COVID-19 pandemic will come to the state of Connecticut and it will likely directly impact UConn. In that case, we are prepared for the possibility of moving classes to an on-line only format and having students return home when possible. This has already occurred at some universities in the country.
It is strongly recommended that students bring all necessary academic materials (textbooks, laptop, notes, etc.) during the Spring Break period in case the decision is made to not return to in-class instruction. Should the University determine that instruction will be offered online, students may not have the ability to return to the residence halls.
In the case of a confirmed COVID-19 case at UConn, the university will quarantine impacted students, provide initial care at Student Health and Wellness, and coordinate with public health officials and the regional Eastern Highlands Health District.
Through a process known as contact tracing, we will identify individuals who may have interacted with the confirmed case and assist them with the recommended quarantine and self-monitoring protocols. Our Student Health staff have the ability to quarantine several individuals should the need arise. We also have the availability to scale up those resources if necessary.
As you and I continue to monitor the media reports, it is natural to be afraid and concerned for our friends and family. My heart goes out to those students who are not able to travel home during the Spring Break and be with their families abroad.
We must remember to take care of one another. Practically speaking, we need to wash our hands, stay away from close contact and large gatherings, eat well, and get enough sleep. Personally, we need to not panic and choose instead to care for one another. To date, Student Affairs has not received bias reports of acts of unkindness towards others. That being said, should acts of discrimination occur, the University can support you through the Bias Response Protocol.
The University has developed a centralized webpage to keep you informed as the dynamic situation evolves. Please refer to this often and stay informed.
I send you all of my good thoughts during what I know is a challenging time.
Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students