Residential Students Return to Campus Amid New Coronavirus Precautions

A large chalk board welcoming students to the Shippee residence hall
While some aspects of move-in are different this year, the familiar Husky spirit of hospitality will still be much in evidence. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

Part of UConn’s student body will return to campus over four days starting Friday as about 5,800 of its undergraduates move into residence halls at Storrs and Stamford under carefully created plans for testing, physical distancing, and self-quarantining.

Those students who will be living in residence halls have signed up for arrival times during the period between Friday and Monday, and have received information about UConn’s new protocols on where to get their COVID-19 tests on campus, limits of the number of people that can help them move into the buildings, and other specifics.

Traffic impacts are expected to be light due to the reduced number of students moving in compared with regular years, and the large number of UConn employees who are telecommuting and would not be traveling on campus while the move-in takes place.

UConn Police and Connecticut State Police are coordinating their response for weekend traffic, since some apartments close to the campus border also begin their leases this weekend, and officers will be stationed at various roads and intersections to help with traffic flow.

As in prior years, Alumni Drive between Hillside Road and Garrigus Suites will temporarily be limited to one-way traffic during the entirety of the four-day move-in period.

UConn Police are also reminding drivers and pedestrians to exercise caution and extend consideration for one another. Drivers must always yield to pedestrians, and pedestrians should always use crosswalks where available. Those rules apply not only at UConn’s Storrs campus, but also on the city and town roads around UConn’s regional campuses.

UConn has enacted several new protocols and health measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to try to limit people’s potential exposure to others, including strictly enforcing the times during which students can move into residence halls and requiring COVID-19 tests at their designated on-campus testing site before receiving keys to their rooms.

UConn Residential Life has posted a list of frequently asked questions on its website, along with other pertinent information on moving, mask wearing, physical distancing, and limiting contact with others outside of a student’s closest group – for instance, roommates and suitemates – during their first 14 days on campus.

UConn will also provide two face coverings per student in each of their residence hall spaces to help them comply with public health directives.

Some other specifics include:

–          Students are only being permitted to bring one vehicle to campus for the move-in process, and therefore have been asked to plan accordingly when thinking about what they bring.

–          Students have also been advised to bring their own hand truck or dolly to assist with carrying items into their residential area if they want one. UConn cannot provide carts/dollies or volunteers this fall to help move based on protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

–          Students are being permitted to have one person with them in their assigned residence hall to help with the move-in process. Others that have come to campus with the student will be waiting outside of the building or in the vehicle, and students and those joining them must wear masks at all times while on campus.

–          They also have been advised to pack lightly, since they will completely move out of their fall room assignment by Nov. 21 when the remainder of the fall semester transitions to fully online coursework. They also have been reminded to pay attention to directional signage inside the buildings and be mindful of physical distancing in hallways, stairwells and elevators.

–          Residential students from states deemed potential or known hot spots under Connecticut’s travel advisory will be quarantined in separate residential housing for the 14-day quarantine period before moving into their previously assigned rooms.

UConn buses will begin to operate on their regular weekday schedule starting early Monday morning. Returning students will notice that the North Garage bus is now located on Hillside Road, in front of the Jorgensen Performance Center due to construction.

Students are being encouraged to check the Transportation Services web page for complete details of this year’s service. The University’s Parking Services office provides information on its site about parking options, passes, and regulations.