FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Fairfield University announced Friday that all off-campus students will be “restricted from the university campus” for 14 days due to what President Mark R. Nemec calls a “significant increase” in COVID-19 cases over a two-day period found in testing done this week.
In a letter sent to the Fairfield community, the president also announced that “all NCAA sports and club sports have been paused for the next 14 days, therefore the Walsh Athletic Center and the Recreational Complex will be closed.”
President Nemec cites the significant increase in positive cases within specific populations of the Fairfield University student community.
The 14-day window for the restrictions began at 8 p.m. Friday night and ends October 23, according to the letter.
According to the school’s COVID-19 dashboard, from Oct. 6 through Oct. 8, of 638 tests done on students, 60 had come back positive (plus one staff member). The same dashboard shows 180 positive tests among students in total since September 1.
That means over one-third of the total positive cases among Fairfield University students since September 1 came in the 48-hour period this week.
First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchic said, “What’s being reported is that it’s not just one thing so there was like a dinner party of nine people and then there’s some sports events so it’s kind of all over the place it’s not just one gathering that you could point to.”
This move by Fairfield U comes after similar moves by Trinity College and the University of New Haven. And, it comes on the same day as UConn announced schedule changes to its spring semester due to COVID-19 concerns.
President Nemec also wrote to the University community,
“it is essential that our University community remain vigilant and proactive in our approach to this situation, to ensure that we can continue to perform our mission as the modern Jesuit, Catholic University. As I have often noted, Fairfield’s strong sense of community, our optimism, and our resilience are at the heart of our identity as an institution.”
Should you experience any symptoms, students are asked to contact the Student Health Center. Failing to comply with this new directive will result in student conduct action.