Connecticut College returns students to remote learning amid COVID-19 outbreak


Photo courtesy of Connecticut College

Students from Connecticut College return to remote learning as a result of the increased COVID cases.

Connecticut College decided to return their students to remote learning on Sep. 8 due to the increasing number of COVID cases, as the school faced 20 positive known cases on Sep. 6 and another 34 cases on Sep. 7. It was revealed through contact tracing that students were not wearing masks when socializing with other students, as many contacts tested positive. 

In an interview with NBC, Victor Arcelus, the dean of students at Connecticut College, addressed the lack of social COVID safety. He mentioned that many students weren’t wearing their masks when socializing, which led to the increased spread of COVID in the school. 

“If COVID is in the room when students are socializing, and if they are not wearing their masks, that can lead to increased spread,” Arcelus said. Based on the contact tracing that we have done – we get the sense that this is how it spread to as many people as it did.” 

Such consistencies regarding COVID have been seen within Staples, as some students have expressed concern with the lack of mask vigilance.

Everyone wears a mask and everything, but annoyingly, I still see a few people in the hallways or in class with their masks not worn properly over their nose.

— Lara Pellegrini ’24

“Everyone wears a mask and everything,” Lara Pellegrini ’24 said. “But annoyingly, I still see a few people in the hallways or in class with their masks not worn properly over their nose.”

To deal with the increase in COVID cases, Connecticut College consults an Alert Status system. This system uses a severity scale of one to four to determine how COVID-19 should be mitigated.

“The Campus Alert Status and Response protocol uses a set of observable conditions to guide College decision making around health and safety measures for the campus and the community,” Connecticut College said.

With a total of 169 positive cases and counting since the beginning of the academic year, the school is at an “Alert Level 3 – Orange.”

“What we have to focus on is we have to try to break the cycles of transmission as much as possible,” Paulo Verardi, a professor of virology and vaccinology at the University of Connecticut, said.

In hopes to have their students return back to school, Connecticut College is closely monitoring the health situation on campus. Students, such as Veronique Dhont, a junior at Connecticut College, are optimistic for the new mitigating measures at Connecticut College. 

“Just normal activities,” Dhont said to NBC. “That’s what I am looking forward to.”