Olivia DrakeSeptember 20, 20211min
As students settle into a fully-residential fall semester with more than 95 percent of the student body vaccinated for COVID-19, the University continues to mandate the wearing of masks inside all university buildings. Wearing masks outdoors is optional. "Because of your hard work and diligence thus far, we have taken important steps towards creating a healthy campus environment," said Wesleyan Medical Director Dr. Tom McLarney in a recent campus-wide health update. "We will continue to monitor our situation and adjust accordingly." View the latest updates and campus guidelines on Wesleyan's Keep Wes Safe website. Photos of student activities during the…

Olivia DrakeJune 11, 20213min
For nearly a year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably affected our lives in varying magnitudes. In this timeline, we explore the evolution of the pandemic through Wesleyan's lens via public health advisories, photographs, and news stories. Jan. 22, 2020:  Wesleyan's Medical Director Dr. Tom McLarney issues a public health advisory to the campus community. "As many of you know from news reports, there is a viral illness that has affected the Hubei Province (mainly in Wuhan) China," he wrote. "This virus is a novel (new) strain of the Corona virus ... At this time, there is no…

Olivia DrakeApril 16, 20211min
Next fall, Wesleyan will require all students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to campus. Every student (with the exception of those who have approved medical or religious exemptions) will need to verify with the University that they are fully vaccinated prior to their arrival. For students who are currently studying on campus, Wesleyan, in partnership with the Community Health Center, is offering a Pfizer vaccine clinic on April 24 and 25 (first dose), and again on May 15 or 16 (second dose). Nearly 2,000 students have already registered for an appointment. The University highly encourages faculty and staff to…

Editorial StaffApril 5, 20214min
(By Bill Holder '75) In this Q&A we speak with Janine Cory '91, MPH, about COVID-19 myths, vaccinations and vaccine hesitancy, pediatric transmission, health literacy, and more. Cory is the Associate Director of Communications for the CDC COVID-19 Response, Vaccine Task Force. For more information on Wesleyan's efforts dealing with COVID-19, visit the Keep Wes Safe website. Q: How did you first become interested in public health? Was there a particular experience, issue, or Wesleyan course that influenced you? What led you to focus on risk communication? A: I was actually lucky enough to be accepted into a pilot program…

Olivia DrakeMarch 23, 20211min
Wesleyan students welcomed a two-day study hiatus during spring break, held March 23–24. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students remained in Middletown during the recess. Students continue to wear masks while participating in any indoor or outdoor activity. For more information, visit Wesleyan's Keep Wes Safe website. (Photos by Willow Saxon '24) (more…)

Olivia DrakeMarch 16, 20211min
On March 15, a panel of Wesleyan faculty and staff experts discussed the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during a campus-wide webinar titled "Why Get Vaccinated?" Speakers included Dr. Thomas McLarney, medical director of Davison Health Center; Donald Oliver, Daniel Ayres Professor of Biology, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Ishita Mukerji, Fisk Professor of Natural Science, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; William Johnston, John E. Andrus Professor of History; and Frederick Cohan, Huffington Foundation Professor in the College of the Environment, professor of biology. Janice Naegele, Alan M. Dachs Professor of Science, professor of biology, and Dean…

Olivia DrakeMarch 5, 20213min
Ninety-nine thousand and counting. That's how many times Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff have stuck, swiped, and swirled cotton swabs in their nasal cavities over the past seven months at the Wesleyan COVID-19 testing facility, with hopes for that negative result indicating no presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. "Implementing an effective testing program was essential to returning for in-person learning," said Associate Vice President/Dean of Students Rick Culliton, who spearheads Wesleyan's Curricular Contingency Planning Task Force (CCPTF). "Our number one priority is keeping the campus community safe. Having accurate, timely test results has been critical to identifying and containing any cases…

Olivia DrakeFebruary 9, 20211min
During the spring semester arrival period, Feb. 5–8, volunteers from Wesleyan's Campus-Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) assisted with welcoming students to campus, checking them in, and ensuring they had a COVID-19 test within five days of arriving on campus. Members also shoveled snow to keep paths clear and delivered students' suitcases, via an ATV, to their residences. Joe Fountain, director of athletic injury care, loaned the Athletics Department ATV to C-CERT for this purpose. Wesleyan's C-CERT group consists of staff, faculty, and student volunteers. (Photos by Olivia Drake and Roseann Sillasen) (more…)

Olivia DrakeFebruary 9, 20212min
Wesleyan's 2021 spring semester officially began Tuesday, Feb. 9, with 2,148 students residing on campus. During the arrival period, held Feb. 5–8, approximately 1,950 students returned to campus after the winter recess. All students were required to prepare for a safe return, which included testing and quarantining before arrival. Once on campus, students must wear masks at all times in shared spaces and practice social distancing. Volunteers from Wesleyan's Campus-Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) assisted with welcoming students to campus, checking them in, and ensuring they had a COVID-19 test within five days of arriving on campus. (See photos here.)…

Olivia DrakeFebruary 1, 20214min
Between Feb. 5–8, Wesleyan will welcome the majority of students back to Middletown for the spring semester. Students must follow a series of steps to prepare for a safe return to campus, which includes testing and quarantine before and upon arrival, and wearing masks at all times in shared spaces. Faculty and staff are expected to follow the guidance of the Community Agreement and act in a manner that demonstrates respect and consideration for the health and safety of others. "After a successful reactivation of campus last fall, we are confident that we'll be able to offer a vital Wesleyan experience to students…