Island Life: PeliCANT Hang Out

John Sihn, Staff Writer

In a much anticipated COVID-19 update email, Loomis Chaffee announced to all students and families that students will be allowed to return to campus for Winter Term 2. Boarding students will arrive on campus on January 30 and 31, after which they will undergo a 5-day quarantine. Day students will arrive on February 8. Every student will have to submit a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival and will then undergo weekly testing at Loomis.

With arrival day closing in, dorm faculty have hosted several meetings wherein they elaborated on the quarantine procedure and dormitory expectations. Generally, dorm faculty meetings outlined how dormitories will adopt more stringent measures to ensure the safety of the student body during the initial quarantine period. Students will not be allowed to congregate in their peers’ rooms or in the hallway, and social distancing with masks will be required in bathrooms.

For breakfast and lunch, students will go to a location on campus to pick up their food. For those who were unable to go, the dorm will provide cold-served food. Mr. Fleming, head of Batchelder Hall, also stated that he aims to have a late-night food option ordered from a restaurant of the residents’ choice.

However, students will not be restricted to staying in the dormitory during the week of quarantine. After classes, students can choose to participate in socially distanced outdoor dorm activities for one hour. Furthermore, dorms will host COVID-friendly dorm activities, such as online mini-games.

Mr. Fleming noted that “none of this is finalized.”

Specific plans are bound to change and improve depending on how the community adapts to these new measures, but core social distancing and quarantine policies will remain.

There will be the “same social distancing and mask measures” throughout campus, stated Ms. Mary Liscinsky, Dean of Students and COVID-19 Coordinator.

Students will be expected to comply with cautionary practices established in Fall Term 2, such as sanitizing used areas, following directions inside buildings, and dining with dividers.

When asked about dorm regulations or residency in the interval between Winter Term 2 and Spring Term 1, Dean Liscinsky noted that plans for that period of time have not been confirmed yet, but the committee is tirelessly working on an optimal solution.

Lastly, Dean Liscinsky stressed that “keeping up on the news is really important” and that she and the committee “hope for a happy, healthy term.”