Melina Korfonta ’25
Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management Joe DiChristina and Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer Dan Hitchell announced the College’s plans to relax the mask mandate, gathering restrictions, and COVID testing program, according to a Mar. 11 email to the campus community. These changes come as steadily low COVID-19 positivity rates have been reported in recent weeks along with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.
“Although we are relaxing restrictions, we are moving forward cautiously and the COVID-19 Steering Committee will continue to meet twice a week to evaluate the climate of COVID-19 within our college community,” said DiChristina and Hitchell in their email to the community.
Masking will be optional starting Mar. 14 in many places on campus including the library, Ferris Athletic Center, dining halls, recreational areas, and living spaces.
However, indoor mask mandates will remain in effect in all classrooms, laboratories, studios, and instructional spaces during scheduled classes. Masks will also be mandated in all healthcare facilities, at indoor and athletic and performance art events, or other gatherings that include external audiences.
In addition, masks will be required in any campus space where signage indicates masking is required and in individual offices and group meetings when requested by the host or participants. All individuals within the Trinity community must keep a mask with them at all times and be prepared to wear it upon entering a space where it is required or at the request of another community member.
Regarding campus gatherings, meeting sizes and space capacities will be adjusted starting Mar. 11 to accommodate for more in-person interactions. According to the revised gathering guidelines, many non-academic spaces–including Greek houses, the Ferris Athletic Center, the Austin Arts Center, and student organization meetings–can operate at full capacity under various conditions. For example, campus meeting spaces–such as Mather Hall and Hamlin Hall–can host lectures and presentations at full capacity and supervised social gatherings at 75% capacity. Dining halls will be operating at full capacity with the grab-and-go option still available for students.
Trinity will be gradually moving away from surveillance testing and towards symptomatic tentatively beginning Apr. 4. The College will provide rapid testing for members of the community who are symptomatic. Mandatory testing will remain in place for all employees and students through Mar. 18. Individuals who are granted medical or religious exemptions are still required to test weekly through the remainder of the semester. Students will be required to complete two rapid tests upon returning from spring break from Mar. 28 through Apr. 1.