Brendan W. Clark ’21
Trinity College’s COVID-19 case count fell to 32 cases for the first time since the outbreak started nearly two weeks ago. This decline was the result of students who “have cleared their required isolation period,” according to an email from Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management Joe DiChristina Friday evening. However, one employee/affiliate case was added Friday evening according to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard.
The College also delayed the resumption of in-person learning again Friday. DiChristina indicated that the College anticipates “resuming in-person classes on Wednesday, October 21.” Trinity will “write again no later than Monday morning” to confirm these plans, DiChristina continued.
The College did not acknowledge the employee case in the email to the community Friday and it was not immediately clear whether the case was tied to a faculty member or a member of the College’s staff.
It was not immediately clear within that 24 case decrease what percentage of students remained quarantined on campus and what percentage had returned home. The College will remain at alert level “orange” despite the decrease.
DiChristina noted that the College anticipates “the number of cases will continue to decline through the weekend, provided that we do not see new positive test results come in from late yesterday and today.”
Trinity’s 32 currently active, positive cases remain the highest in the NESCAC following a review of COVID-19 dashboards at other institutions Friday evening. The Tripod previously reported on case counts at other NESCAC institutions Tuesday.
Trinity’s active COVID-19 count had risen steadily since Oct. 5, when an outbreak attributed to off-campus housing and athletic teams had led to significant case increases across campus. This increase overwhelmed College isolation facilities in Doonesbury, prompting the relocation of infected students into the Stowe and Clemens dormitories, the Tripod reported.
On Thursday, Trinity reported an increase of 9 cases, bringing its currently active total to 56 while the College continued to struggle to control the outbreak and isolate students.
Trinity’s case increase earlier this week came as Hartford County was identified as a hotspot and the State of Connecticut deals with its highest positivity rates since mid-June.
The Tripod reached out again to DiChristina and Chief of Staff to the President Jason Rojas Friday evening for comment following this article’s publication. The College has not returned two previous Tripod inquiries from Sunday and Thursday of this week, though did return a request Saturday, Oct. 18.