March 13, 2021

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Dear Students:

On Friday, March 12, Colby-Sawyer College conducted a mass testing event in response to a sudden increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus. Tests were administered on 587 individuals, in which 508 were students and 79 were employees. As of the sending of this communication, the college has received notification of 22 positive cases stemming from Friday’s testing event – all among students – bringing the total number of active COVID-19 cases on campus to 55.

In response to this evidence of the continued spread of COVID-19 on campus, and as the college nears capacity in its previously designated isolation facilities, the decision has been made to shift to a fully remote model of instruction until Wednesday, March 24. In addition, the college will enter a modified stay-in-place phase effective Monday, March 15 at 5 p.m. Students being required to isolate or quarantine are expected to continue to follow all policies and procedures communicated to them during this modified stay-in-place phase.

Modified stay-in-place policies for residential students not actively required to isolate or quarantine include:

  • Students must remain on college property; off-campus travel is prohibited with the exception of required travel for nursing and athletic training students participating in clinical placements as well as UVEI students
  • Students may only enter residence halls in which they reside
  • Students may leave their residence halls to go outside in groups of six or less but must wear proper face masks and practice physical distancing at all times

Students who received notification of a negative test result following Friday’s testing event may choose to leave campus to return home for the duration of the modified stay-in-place phase, however it is asked that those doing so depart by Monday, March 15 at 5 p.m. (a form will be made available in the coming days for students to alert the college of their departure from campus.) Those who decide to leave campus are expected to return to campus by Monday, March 22 to participate in the mandatory testing of all students prior to the resumption of in-person instruction Wednesday, March 24.

For those who remain on campus during the modified stay-in place phase, the dining hall will continue to be open for takeout only for students not actively being required to isolate or quarantine (the Lethbridge Lodge will no longer be open for takeout). Those who are being required to isolate or quarantine are asked to order meals online to be delivered by members of the dining services team. Meals will go out for delivery at 8 a.m., noon and 5 p.m.

In addition, all campus tours and other events scheduled to take place during the modified stay-in-place phase have been postponed, and the Dan and Kathleen Hogan Sports Center and Susan Colgate Cleveland Library will remain closed as well.

Colby-Sawyer was fortunate to have avoided an outbreak of COVID-19 cases on campus over the first five weeks of the semester. And while some college and universities across the state may not have been as fortunate during that span, those institutions have proven that a temporary shift to fully remote learning and similar stay-in-place periods can successfully prevent further spread of the virus.

It should also be understood that while the majority of cases identified during the fall semester did not result in individuals experiencing symptoms, many of those who have tested positive this week are experiencing mild-to-significant symptoms. Please continue to do your part as a member of the Colby-Sawyer community to protect yourself (wear a mask and follow physical distancing guidelines) and those around you. Our ability to remain together on campus depends on each of us remaining diligent.

Please continue to check your email for additional information and announcements in the coming days.

Gregg Mazzola
Vice President for Marketing & Communications