Faith Monahan ‘24
Jack P. Carroll ‘24
Trinity College’s COVID-19 Dashboard reported 0 cases of COVID-19 among students, employees and affiliates after the first week of classes. 241 of the 250 PCR tests administered the week of Sept. 6 were negative, according to the Dashboard’s recent results by week. Among the remaining test results, eight were invalid and one was inconclusive.
These results mirror the low-transmission trends the College experienced during the summer–weeks before the community’s return to campus. From July 5-26, one positive test was recorded from a total of 159 tests. In August, there were 0 cases of COVID-19 after a total of 60 tests were administered.
Trinity’s low numbers follow the College’s Aug. announcement that 94 percent of students, faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The College also made efforts to stave off the spread of the virus by mandating masks in all indoor activities and common areas including classrooms, event spaces and hallways. In addition, masks must be worn by all attendees at outdoor college- and student-sponsored events and gatherings. Other protocols include physical distancing requirements and capacity limits–depending on whether an event takes place indoors or outdoors.
Nationally, COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to surge with the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant. The U.S. is currently averaging over 150,000 new cases per day and close to 1,500 daily deaths. Last month, the country recorded 26,800 deaths and more than 4.2 million infections. America’s death toll recently surpassed 650,000 with one forecast model projecting over 750,000 deaths by Dec. 1.
Trinity’s peer NESCAC institutions have reported significantly higher numbers of positive cases.
Connecticut College recently changed its operating status to Alert Level 3-Orange after more than 50 students tested positive the week of Sept. 8. In an address to the campus community, Dean of Students Victor Arcelus announced that the students who contracted the virus had been socializing in cars, apartments, parties and bars without wearing masks.
Other NESCAC schools with higher numbers include Tufts which recorded 22 positive tests earlier this month. Colby’s COVID-19 dashboard recorded seven positive cases in isolation as of Sept. 11; Williams and Amherst recently experienced two and five positive cases respectively.
A previous version of this article stated that Trinity had not released a statement about its first-week dashboard results. Since the publication of this article, Chief of Staff Jason Rojas and Vice President for External Affairs Joe DiChristina addressed Trinity’s first-week dashboard results in a Sept. 14 email to students, faculty and staff.