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Trinity College: 15 students removed from campus for 'significant' COVID violations

HARTFORD — More than a dozen students were removed from the Trinity College campus and will complete the semester remotely after committing "significant" violations of the school's safety measures, officials wrote in a letter to the college community. 

In the letter, Joe DiChristina, vice president for student success and enrollment management, and Jason Rojas, chief of staff and associate vice president for external relations, said the school's Office of Student and Community Life were notified of the violations, which they say occurred during the weekend of Oct. 17.

"We immediately began an investigation to determine the validity of the reports we received, including who was involved. In one incident, 14 students who live in campus housing visited a local bar. Another incident involved a violation of the COVID-19 guest policy," DiChristina and Rojas said. "Both incidents occurred when the college was in alert level orange, and the behaviors demonstrated a disregard for the expectations set in our student community contract and COVID policies."

The 15 students will be banned from campus for the rest of the semester and complete their course remotely, the officials said.

DiChristina and Rojas advised students to use outdoor on-campus activities, where groups of limited size can be brought together safely, and noted that informal groups of six students or fewer were allowed to visit together outside.

Students cannot leave campus except for essential reasons, the officials said. Students wishing to leave campus are asked to first contact the office of the dean of student life.

"To continue our residential and in-person learning experience this fall, we must adhere to the community contract. We acknowledge that this semester is highly unusual and that living through a global pandemic is difficult, challenging, and stressful," the officials said. "We also recognize that most of our students have been diligent in following the guidelines developed to protect the health and safety of our community. We appreciate all that you have done to this point. Your efforts have contributed to a continued reduction in the number of active cases in our community."

As of Monday, there were two active coronavirus cases on campus, according to the school's informational dashboard. There have been a total of 85 positive cases since Aug. 17.

"It is essential that we not let down our guard and continue to practice mask wearing, social distancing and limiting gatherings. As we have seen reported, we are seeing a global resurgence in COVID-19 cases," DiChristina and Rojas said. "This means that all of us must remain vigilant in our efforts to limit our exposure to the virus."


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