Brendan W. Clark ’21
In an email to the community Thursday afternoon, Chief of Staff to the President Jason Rojas reported that five new COVID cases were confirmed among the student body. “Of the five cases, three students elected to isolate at home and two are in our on-campus isolation facility,” Rojas indicated.
The five active cases add to two prior positive COVID cases brings the total to seven active cases as of Thursday afternoon. Four of the students who tested positive are isolating off-campus and three are isolating on-campus, according to the report.
The College has activated its “contract tracing protocol in an effort to mitigate spread,” Rojas continued.
It was not immediately clear the source of the cases and if they were diffusely spread across campus or clustered in one particular location. The outbreak earlier this month primarily affected off-campus properties on Allen Place.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke about COVID on college campuses to Today earlier in the fall semester. Fauci strongly discouraged the idea of students returning to their hometowns after testing positive for COVID on their college campus. “It’s the worst thing you can do,” he told Today, “Keep them at the university in a place that’s sequestered enough from the other students.”
The College cannot, however, legally require students to stay on Trinity’s campus after a COVID diagnosis and many of the 78 students infected this semester have elected to return to their hometowns to isolate.
Currently, the COVID alert level at Trinity remains green, a shift from its previous high-alert status that had persisted for much of October after an outbreak earlier this month overwhelmed College facilities and infected as many as 60. Trinity had had has few as two currently active, positive cases earlier this week.
As of Thursday, peer schools of similar size in Connecticut have reported far fewer cases. Connecticut College has reported 30 cumulative cases, while Wesleyan has reported 14 cases of COVID-19 since August.
The Tripod reached out to Chief of Staff to the President Jason Rojas for comment Friday, who was not immediately available.