Jack P. Carroll ’24
Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Joe DiChristina sent out a vaccine survey in an email addressed to students on Sunday, Mar. 21. DiChristina indicated that the survey will be used by the College to determine students’ “intentions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.” In addition, the survey results will assist with Trinity’s “immediate planning as well as long-term academic and residential planning for fall 2021.”
In an email to the Tripod, DiChristina noted that the College is working with Hartford Healthcare to “look at all possibilities concerning how best to provide vaccines for students.” DiChristina also stated that “There are many variables to consider–most importantly when the vaccine is actually available for this age group and how it will be distributed.” At the time of his response, DiChristina indicated that Hartford HealthCare is waiting for guidance from the state after which he “will message the community.”
Additionally, DiChristina noted in his update that Trinity is not requiring students to get vaccinated at this time, adding that “In the coming weeks, we will have more information to share with you regarding the vaccine.”
Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Affairs Jason Rojas previously told the Tripod that the College is “hopeful to have students return either vaccinated or with a first dose” in the fall semester. Rojas also indicated that the College had not received guidance from the state on vaccines for college students: “The only information that has been shared about the phase that includes students is the age range. We will provide information to students as soon as it becomes available.”
In the state of Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont recently announced that all residents will be eligible to receive the vaccine starting on Apr. 1. Lamont’s office also reported that 1.3 million people 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine. At the time of his announcement, Lamont anticipated that the state would vaccinate 200,000 people over the course of the following week.
Yale University, similarly situated in an urban setting, will be issuing MyChart appointments to students upon receiving vaccine inventory from the state. The Yale Daily News also reported that the university plans to vaccinate its students at the Lanman Center, “a University-operated site that has been administering vaccines since December 30 to those eligible.”
These announcements come at a time when Connecticut’s COVID-19 case count and positivity rate are on the rise. The Hartford Courant recently reported that the state’s positivity rate is currently at its highest level since February. The same article attributed these trends to an uptick in cases in the Northeast and the spread of the B117 variant.
This data coincides with Lamont’s decision to ease travel restrictions and to allow restaurants and businesses to function at full capacity with social distancing. Earlier this month, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky expressed concern that it may be too early for states to end mask mandates and COVID-19 restrictions.
Over the course of this month, Trinity’s weekly case count has steadily risen from one positive case the first week to six cases during the week of Mar. 22. Trinity’s Covid-19 Dashboard reported that the latter number has since increased to 11—split between eight students and three employees and affiliates—as of Mar. 29. Also, the dashboard indicated that six students remain in isolation and an additional 19 in quarantine at the time of this article’s publication.