COVID surge impacting college operations in Connecticut

New London

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — If you plan to visit any of the 12 community colleges in the state, you should call ahead because they will decide individually whether or not they are open for in-person services and learning or if everything is remote.

These community colleges are being asked to limit staff, with some working an A/B schedule, so that social distancing can be increased.

“So that means the offices are still open,” said Ann Harrison, the Communications Director for the CT State Community Colleges. ”People can still come in and do what they need to do. It’s just in order to enable social distancing, there might not be as many staff in place at one time.”

At Three Rivers Community College, masks are required and vaccinations are encouraged.

William Dentch of Groton is a prospective student there. He said he thinks it is responsible for a college or university to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mitchell College and Connecticut College are now requiring booster shots for students and staff who return for the spring semester. UConn will also require booster shots for eligible students.

RELATED: UConn moves first two weeks of spring semester classes online, to announce booster requirement for eligible students

Western Connecticut State University has also temporarily gone to a virtual schedule this week.

UConn plans to hold its first two weeks of the spring semester remotely. Wesleyan University announced Tuesday the start of its spring semester classes is delayed until Thursday, Jan. 27. Classes will be held virtually Jan. 27 and 28 before in-person classes resume on Jan. 31. Wesleyan’s spring break will now be held March 12-20.

None of the community colleges have announced changes for the spring.

“It is an individual decision based on what is happening on campus this week and also the rate of infection and rates that each campus is seeing in its own community,” Harrison said.

This week, they decided to close the campus at Three Rivers and go virtual during the winter intercession. Now, there is only online registration and for the one class that did have an in-person element, it is now remote like all other classes this session.

Dentch says he’s just fine registering online.

“I already have a feel for how I’m going to submit my application,” Dentch said. “I was a senior in high school when the pandemic started so I got a glimpse of what online learning is like.”

He took a gap year hoping to avoid that in his college career.

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