Spring 2021 Reopening Resources for Students and Families

We are excited to welcome you back to campus for the spring 2021 semester. Above all, our priority is protecting the health and safety of our University community. We have implemented comprehensive plans around COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and physical distancing.

Our goal is to ensure you feel comfortable with the reimagined campus experience you will have when you return to campus for the Spring 2021 semester.

This page has been updated as of December 3, 2020.


Phased Return to Campus Schedule - Spring 2021

We will begin to resume campus activities in a phased approach. As we begin to return to campus, we must be ready to provide as safe an environment as is possible for our community members as we move through the phases of re-engagement.

Click on an image below to read more about each phase of reopening.

Spring 2021 Phase 1 Starts November 30

Select labs and research continue operations on campus and in field

Spring 2021 Phase 2 Starts January 4

Limited on-campus operations; some faculty and staff begin to return to campus

Spring 2021 Phase 3 Starts January 15

Plan for students to begin to return to campus for Spring 2021 semester

Our Reimagined Campus for Spring 2021 - Updated December 8, 2020

We will begin to resume campus activities for spring 2021 in a phased approach. As we begin to return to campus, we must be ready to provide as safe an environment as is possible for our community members as we move through the phases of re-engagement. The items listed below are measures the University will take as we move through the phases of reimagining the University.

Please note that decisions we have made are based on the comprehensive work of our COVID Task Forces and are in agreement with a process outlined by the state of Connecticut, and in accordance with local, state, and federal health and safety regulations.

  • Requiring Return to Campus and Ongoing COVID-19 Viral Testing

    All residential students, off-campus and commuter students, and University employees who will be returning to campus during the Spring 2021 semester will be required to obtain a negative result on a molecular SARS-COV2 RT-PCR test within 5 business days of their return to campus. This initial test is the responsibility of the student and is paid for by the student.

    All residential students will study in place on campus from their return date (Jan. 16-17) through the conclusion of January 31. The residential study in place restrictions will be lifted the morning of February 1.

    Additionally, Commuter/Off-Campus Students and Employees coming to campus from a high COVID positive state currently subject to travel restrictions by the State of Connecticut must ALSO quarantine for 14 days prior to their return to campus date. This 14-day quarantine is the responsibility of the individual, to be carried out at their Connecticut-based residence.

    Throughout the spring 2021 semester, a portion of the campus population will receive COVID-19 testing on a weekly basis, on a rotating schedule by last name, with these tests paid for by the University.

    Students who have tested positive in the last 90 days (since October 15) MUST NOT take a COVID test.

    Click here to view the most-updated and complete testing guidelines, including acceptable testing dates based on your return to campus date.

  • Provide Personal Protective Equipment

    All students and employees at the University must wear a mask / face covering in all public spaces. Members of the University community will be able to bring their own cloth face coverings or medical-grade masks to campus. Anyone returning to campus for the first time should come prepared with their own mask / face covering. We require that any face coverings fit snuggly around the top of the nose and cover the mouth. We recommend having multiple face coverings as they should be worn daily and then washed in warm, soapy water after each daily use. All on-campus individuals must wear masks that are at least 2-ply fabric and tight fitting across the nose and mouth. No gaiters, bandanas or loose coverings will be allowed. Coverings must not contain offensive language.

    For new students, only: In addition to the face covering or mask you wear when you come to campus the first time (which you supply), the University will provide you with a “Welcome Kit” containing cloth face masks, a thermometer, and other items to ensure that all students have basic health items. The University will provide two masks at move-in (new residential students) or during Welcome Week (new commuter students). The mask kits are only being made available to new students who are physically returning to campus and are new to the University in spring 2021.

  • Engage in Daily Wellness Checks

    The University requires all students monitor daily for COVID-19 symptoms and report using CoVerified. We will adhere to a strict policy that all students and employees should not come to campus if any symptoms exist.

  • Conduct Contact Tracing

    The University has State of Connecticut registered and trained contact tracers on our campus. Our contact tracers work to quickly identify any students who have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 individual, in class, or in your residence hall, and contact them regarding isolation and testing.

    It is imperative that students cooperate with contact tracers, if contacted. Failure to cooperate with the contact tracing process is a violation of the COVID-19 Student Directives and students who do not provide information are subject to discipline through the student conduct process. Please note that any information collected through the contract tracing process is private.

  • Enhanced Cleaning Standards

    The University has implemented cleaning and sanitization standards for all University buildings that use the most up-to-date guidelines from the CDC. These standards include new methods of cleaning, new timelines for cleaning, and the promotion of sanitation stations at high-traffic areas around campus.

  • Engage Students in Keeping the Campus Healthy

    Ensuring a healthy campus takes a village, which is why we have created a student workforce to promote campus health and safety, including distributing masks, sharing positive messages about physical distancing, and serving as a resource for other students on the campus.

  • Improve Our Traffic Flow

    We have re-envisioned how our students get to classes and migrate through campus. We have increased the time period between classes to 20 minutes to allow for a staggered dismissal from classes.

  • Reconfigured Social Spaces

    We have updated every gathering space on campus to ensure they are optimized for health and safety. We developed new ways to utilize our physical space in ways that promote appropriate physical distancing but still allow for athletics, student organizations, campus recreation, and other activities to take place.

  • Enhanced Dining Experiences

    The dining experience on campus has been upgraded with a new meal reservation system, expanded seating areas for dining, more carryout options for meals, and extended dining hall hours.

  • Secure Space for Isolation

    The University – in partnership with local health care providers – has established transitional space for anyone who needs to be isolated after testing positive or while waiting for test results or until they obtain a negative test result. This space will enable the University and medical professionals to support the health of our students. The University will provide food, internet, and other essential services during isolation and quarantine.

  • Partner with Local Health Systems and the City of West Haven

    The University has partnered with our local health care systems and the City of West Haven to provide access to health services and public health guidance for the members of our community. This ensures access to hospital treatment if required by members of our community.

  • Conduct COVID-19 Education & Training

    The University will continue to train and support students to understand our public health measures and to make good decisions with public health in mind. Educational videos and other resources will be made available throughout the summer to help students prepare for our return to campus.

Campus Health & Safety Overview


COVID-19 Overview


Essential Public Health Measures
  • Face Covering Policy: All university employees and students must wear a face covering when on the campus grounds and in all public spaces, except residence hall rooms. All on-campus individuals must wear masks that are at least 2-ply fabric and tight fitting across the nose and mouth. No gaiters, bandanas or loose coverings will be allowed. Coverings must not contain offensive language.
  • Physical Distancing Policy: (Updated March 30, 2021)All university employees and students must abide by physical distancing requirements of 6 feet or more between individuals (indoors) and 3 feet or more between individuals (outdoors).
  • Personal Sanitizing: Soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes will be provided in all active campus buildings. Wash hands at least once an hour or utilize the hand sanitizing stations that are available throughout campus.
  • Personal Protective Equipment: We will provide new students with fabric masks, thermometers, and hand sanitizer upon their initial entrance to campus


Health and Safety Monitoring
  • Daily Health Checking: All students will be asked to complete a Daily Wellness Check prior to or upon their arrival to campus. We will be using the CoVerified app for these daily check-ins.
  • Illness Policy: Students should not come to campus if they are potentially contagious for any reason.
  • Contact Tracing: All university students agree to undergo contact tracing if they or their contacts receive a positive COVID-19 test. The University has identified a team of contract tracers on our campus.
  • Cleaning Policy: All high-touch areas will be cleaned and disinfected routinely in accordance with guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Frequently Asked Questions

Reimagining our campus life takes a village, and we will need your help to keep our community safe and healthy. We understand that students and their families will have a lot of questions about these new safety measures and procedures. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for quick answers to the most common questions. Check that page often, as new answers will be added on an ongoing basis.


Additional Information for Students

We strongly encourage you to continue to check this page often. More resources will be added here as they are developed.