Critical Updates to COVID-19 Response
A Message from President Woodward
Dear Campus Community,
We continue to work on detailed plans related to the University's phased approach to protect our community and the anticipated impact on our students and employees. As you know, the national response to COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We hope our frequent communication and updated website helps to ease some of your concerns and answers ongoing questions.
Please note that as of 8 p.m. on Monday, March 16, Connecticut is restricting gatherings of more than 50 people. Restaurants and bars will be limited to take-out only, and gyms, movie theaters, and casinos will be closed. The state is discouraging nonessential travel between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
As we have communicated, a decision about maintaining all classes online beyond April 5 will be made and shared no later than March 27. Our dedicated faculty and staff are quickly working behind the scenes to make plans to deliver classes and content remotely. Again, any change to this plan will be communicated immediately.
We are developing a financial policy to address the disruption in room and board. These plans and policies will vary greatly based on our ability to continue with the semester after April 5. We will communicate specific information about financial implications of those realities as soon as we can. We are also working through the details for the employment of work-study students, graduate assistants, and other student workers. We are asking these students to reach out to their direct supervisors, who will be able to share additional details and directives. Student workers of any kind should not be on campus at this time.
Residential and Campus Life
Residence halls are now closed to students, with the exception of those who were already approved through spring break. However, given the escalating concerns about travel restrictions, we encourage students to return to their permanent residence as soon as possible. To remain on campus beyond March 22, students must be approved through the petition process and requests must be completed by Wednesday, March 18. Only students meeting the established categories will be approved to remain on campus.
Students who are granted permission to stay will be required to move into approved housing and must agree to communicated rules and expectations given the state of emergency. The Residential Life team is actively following up with students who have submitted petitions.
As of March 16, the library will be closed at least through the end of the week. There will continue to be at least one dining facility open. Currently, Gengras Student Union is open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, and Wednesday, March 18. At this time, students will not have access to any academic buildings including labs, practice spaces, art studios, or the fitness center. Please see the list of current hours of operation within the Coronavirus website, which will be updated frequently as information changes.
To keep our community healthy, and to follow all recommendations from health agencies to help slow the spread of COVID-19, faculty and staff should plan to work remotely for the foreseeable future, unless otherwise notified by their supervisors. University functions determined to be essential will be moving to a staggered schedule. We know for many of our employees, this is their first time working from home. The Office of Human Resources Development will continue to be a resource to supervisors to assist in determining best practices and staffing. Information on resources and logistics, such as VPN access, forwarding calls, accessing voicemail, and signing up for WebEx accounts is now online.
Health Services remains open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students who are still on campus should call 860.768.6601 if they develop symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Walk-in appointments will no longer be available. Students should call to be evaluated over the phone and/or to make an appointment.
Faculty and staff experiencing these symptoms should contact their personal physicians. EAP Resources will continue to be available and communicated. Employees who have Aetna insurance through the University also have the option of Teladoc.
Thank you again for all of your help and cooperation. We will continue to share updates via email and hartford.edu/health-coronavirus. You can also email your questions and concerns to COVID19@hartford.edu.