Lamont Extends Masking Requirements

Recent updates on Connecticut’s COVID-19 mandate have allowed relaxed protocols to the school, despite the fact that masking requirements in public indoor spaces remain in effect. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s Executive Order No. 13, signed on July 19th, required masking in certain indoor spaces including healthcare facilities, public transit, and schools, until September 30. 

On September 28, Gov. Lamont signed Executive Order No. 14 to extend the previous orders through February 15, 2022. The renewal of Lamont’s orders dashed all hopes for lifting the indoor masking policy on September 30 and confirmed  that masking in school buildings will remain necessary until February. However, the scope of Executive Order No. 14 has allowed for one significant change: indoor masking is no longer required for students living in residential dormitories. 

In addition to required masking in residential spaces, the possibility of interdorming has begun to open up. While interdorming remains heavily restricted, two groups of students, including upperclass students proctoring in lowerclass dorms and students living in Baechle-Ayres, will be allowed to visit other dorms per the rules in The Almanac. On the possibility of allowing interdorming for all students, Mr. McKibben said, “I expect that interdorming for the entire community will begin [tentatively] soon. I think the school is pretty close to having an idea of how we’re going to make interdorming work to ensure that everyone is healthy and safe, but also to ensure that there is equity between our gender-fluid students and those who define themselves on the binary.”

With a long weekend and breaks coming up, health and safety precautions remain necessary. As students return from off-campus trips, requirements for masking will be temporarily re-instated in dormitory spaces. Additionally, school-wide COVID-19 saliva tests will return for a few more cycles. Dr. Zachary McClain, medical director, said, “[The extra rounds of testing could] ensure if there are people who have been exposed to COVID-19, we are going to catch it fast and be able to isolate [the positive cases] quickly.”

The school expects students to remain masked indoors through February 15, 2022; however, as the year goes on, new possibilities, including interdorming for the entire school, may open up. For now, following COVID-19 protocols and regulations will ensure the safety and well-being of students, staff, and faculty alike.