Update to COVID-19 Campus Alert Level

Good Evening,

This is a brief update to Friday’s communication regarding our campus COVID-19 management.

We have continued to experience an uptick of positive cases over the last few days.  Since Wednesday, we have had a total of 15 students test positive.  Almost all of these students are part of two distinct groups and the source of their exposure and spread appears to be primarily related to informal social gatherings. We have continued to work promptly with our partners at the Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC) to identify close contacts and place students in isolation and quarantine to contain the spread.

We have elevated the Campus COVID-19 Alert Level to Yellow: Moderate Concern, in light of these additional positives, We have not placed additional restrictions or made policy modifications at this time, but we encourage all community members to use their own discretion in their campus engagement this week as we continue to monitor the situation. To stop the spread, we must continue to practice social distancing, wear masks at all times, and limit travel off campus. The past week’s positive cases have shared situations where one or more of these expectations were not followed and likely the source of exposure and spread.

The Testing Center will be open as scheduled this week, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. with a lunch hour from 12 p.m – 1 p.m.  We encourage all community members to continue with their testing cadence and schedule their appointments in advance for the week. As a reminder, if you start to feel unwell do not come to campus and do not leave your room.  Contact covidtesting@wheatoncollege.edufor next steps, or if you are a student on campus, contact Norton Medical Center at 508-286-5400 to schedule an appointment to be seen.  Employees should follow up with their primary care physician.

As Dean Zack shared on Friday,  cases are rising in Massachusetts, particularly among individuals under age 30, in the town of Norton and other local communities.  We must remain vigilant and comply with the campus safety protocols, including limiting our travel off campus.

Stay safe and be well,

COVID-19 Testing Team

Zachary Irish, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Meghan Kass, Vice President for Finance and Administration

Kaylyn Smith, Coordinator for COVID-19 Testing, Quarantine and Isolation

Valerie Tobia, Director of Counseling and Health Services

Holly Wood, Interim Associate Director for Student Health Services