Jack P. Carroll ‘24
Trinity College reported a total of 21 active cases of COVID-19 via the dashboard on Thursday, Dec. 23. This number–which includes 19 students and two employees–is up from 12 earlier this week. Since the College’s last COVID update on Sunday, eight additional students and one employee tested positive through self-administered tests and on-campus surveillance testing, according to an email from Chief of Staff Jason Rojas and Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management Joe DiChristina Thursday morning. The surge in cases comes at a time when 98 percent of students and employees are vaccinated against the virus.
“Most of the individuals are isolating away from campus. Out of an abundance of caution and because there are students remaining on campus during break, we will be adjusting our alert level status to yellow to remind our community of the need to be vigilant, wear face coverings, and maintain social distancing,” said Rojas and DiChristina.
They also announced the start of the spring semester has been postponed. The spring start date is now Monday, Jan. 31 which is four days later than originally planned. Students will return to campus beginning Jan. 26 instead of Jan. 22. All returning members of the community will be required to complete a PCR COVID test.
As a result of this change, Trinity Days–a two-day break from classes scheduled for late February–has been removed from the current academic calendar. The spring start date was delayed to support the College’s efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus on campus.
Trinity will increase testing frequency during the first month of the spring semester–citing concerns about the more infectious Omicron variant. More details about the testing program for the spring will be announced in January.
Rojas and DiChristina did not indicate whether the College will begin updating its dashboard more frequently in the spring. Over the course of the past year, Trinity’s reporting practices have been deemed insufficient by students. Last fall, students pointed out that Trinity and Wesleyan were the only colleges in the NESCAC which declined to update their dashboards daily. These complaints have persisted throughout this past semester as Trinity continues to update its dashboard twice per week. Other schools in the NESCAC–including Williams, Amherst, Hamilton, Colby, and Tufts–update their dashboards daily or every weekday.
Responding to questions about Trinity’s reporting practices, Rojas told the Tripod this week that “We do not have plans at this time to update the dashboard more frequently.” In August, Rojas told the Tripod that the College would “adjust the frequency of updates to the dashboard based on conditions on campus.”