COVID-19 UConn Health Updates

COVID-19 UConn Health Updates

Latest Update


Telecommuting Guidance

HR has published guidance, which is now available for managers and employees regarding factors to consider when determining whether employees may telecommute (please scroll down to 3.16.20 Guidance, below the FAQs).  The formal telecommuting forms and processes are no longer required.  Instead, a simplified letter from the manager to the employee outlining the telecommuting arrangement must be used: Telecommuting Letter for UConn Health.  Please work with your manager to identify if telecommuting is appropriate and feasible for you.  Managers should complete the letter and e-mail a copy to

Employees who are approved to telecommute must also follow certain IT and privacy requirements. Please visit the IT website that has the IT Guide to Telecommuting, which provides you with the necessary forms as well as best practices for working from home.

Childcare Center

We are aware that many of our employees are experiencing childcare issues and we are working to expand our capacity at our childcare center on campus. Click here to learn more about childcare options available as well as to submit a request for enrollment consideration

Parking Lot 3 Closing

Effective tomorrow Wednesday, March 18 parking Lot L3 will temporarily be closed. While the lot is closed, people who typically park in Lot L3 may use any other available Area 3 locations, or the level 6, rooftop entrance of Garage 1.  They may also park on the upper levels 4, 5 or 6.  If the gate is in the down position please use the ‘call for assistance' button to have the gate raised. Employees should also use the level 6, rooftop exit when leaving the garage. Here is a staff parking map

Spring Classes to Remain Online at UConn; Commencement Cancelled

In light of state and federal guidance limiting crowd sizes, President Katsouleas announced today that coursework at UConn will be delivered online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, including final exams, and that there will be no May commencement exercises this year. His letter to the community also includes important information on student housing, telecommuting, research and other issues. 

Research Ramping Down

To maintain social distancing in accordance with CDC guidance, UConn is directing researchers to immediately start ramping down activities including laboratory, animal and non-therapeutic human subject research. When possible, research that can be done remotely will continue. Critical activities such as maintaining animals, unique reagents, and essential equipment can continue with appropriate planning.

Previous Updates


UConn Health Guidelines for COVID Pandemic Rescheduling of Surgical Cases

With the priorities of patient care, staff health, resource utilization and public health considerations, the OR Executive Committee endorses a policy for rescheduling of elective cases for the immediate future.  The following are guidelines for this process with decisions to be made by the individual surgeon, respective surgical Chair and OR Executive Committee if required.

  • Elective cases are those scheduled in advance that do not involve medical emergency.
    • Effective immediately, all elective cases will be postponed
  • Emergent cases will proceed as usual without delay.
    • In general, emergent cases are defined as:
      • Acute life or limb threatening condition (i.e., unstable angina or vascular disease with tissue loss, open fracture, perforated viscus)
      • Acute loss of function (i.e., myelopathy)
      • Cannot wait until the patient is medically stable
  • Semi-urgent cases will require evaluation on a case by case basis to determine timeliness of the procedure.
    • Case does not need to be done immediately for medical reasons, but should be performed within a few weeks, i.e., cancer or suspicious lesion requiring diagnosis or treatment, or cesarean section.

All procedures will require evaluation of the following factors:

  • High risk procedures for clinicians
    • ENT, upper and lower endoscopy, pulmonary, dental procedures where aerosolization of virus is present.
    • Any procedure requiring non closed airway manipulation, i.e., monitored anesthesia care, conscious sedation.
  • High risk patients
    • Patients exhibiting signs of respiratory illness
    • Age > 65
    • Multiple comorbidities, especially pulmonary or cardiac
    • Cancer patients due to immunosuppression

This situation is fluid and will require ongoing review and revision by the OR Executive Committee. Once we have defined the scope, duration and magnitude of the postponements, rescheduling of these cases will proceed.


UConn Health had its first COVID-19 positive patient, a Hartford man who was discharged late Saturday and is recovering under quarantine at home. All CDC-recommended precautions were followed to protect staff, visitors, patients and learners. UConn Health officials answered questions Sunday during an event that was recorded and can be viewed here.

(Please note: In the interest of expediting its publication, this version of the video does not yet have accurate closed captions. An updated version of the closed captions will be published as soon as possible).


Message from Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, Chief Executive Officer, UConn Health

I am writing to inform you that we have identified our first COVID-19 positive patient who was discharged from UConn Health today.

I would like to reassure you that UConn Health followed all precautions recommended by the CDC to protect our staff, visitors, patients and learners.

Upon arrival the patient was identified and managed as a possible COVID-19 patient and as such all appropriate precautions were taken.

Fortunately the patient is doing well and all notifications have been provided to the local and state public health authorities.

I would personally like to thank all providers and staff who provided safe and high quality care for this patient.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact the COVID-19 hotline through the page operator.


Message from Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, Chief Executive Officer, UConn Health; Dr. Bruce Liang, Dean, UConn School of Medicine; and Dr. Steven Lepowsky, Interim Dean, UConn School of Dental Medicine

The health and well-being of our community is always our highest priority. During extraordinary times, such as the current global pandemic, we need to support that primary obligation while doing our best to carry out our academic, research and clinical missions. Consistent with these values, along with directives from our governor and our desire to collectively support the CDC's public health activities, UConn Health is taking the following steps:

UConn School of Medicine

  • Beginning on Monday, March 16, UConn School of Medicine preclerkship classes will move to online course delivery.  This will be evaluated for its continuation on a regular basis.
  • All clinical clerkships will continue, but students will not participate in the direct care of suspected or known COVID-19 patients.
  • All community-based weekly clinics will be cancelled until the week of April 6.
  • All research and its operations will continue as usual.
  • Specific guidance on medical education activities will be communicated individually to students.

UConn School of Dental Medicine

  • The didactic components of the predoctoral (DMD) curriculum are transitioning to a virtual, online delivery beginning March 16.  The School of Dental Medicine will evaluate its continuation on an ongoing basis.
  • Preclinical simulation courses will be rescheduled or modified to permit social distancing.
  • Clinical operations will continue and will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.  Modifications to processes and procedures for patient care activities will be implemented as appropriate.
  • Research activities will continue.
  • Specific guidance for each year of the predoctoral (DMD) curriculum is being communicated to each cohort of students and specific guidance for each postdoctoral residency program is being communicated directly to the residents.

Telecommuting for UConn Health Employees

All UConn Health employees who are able to perform some or all of the essential functions of their jobs from home will be reviewed by managers for approval to telecommute. Managers and supervisors are currently assessing the telecommuting appropriateness and applicable resource needs, such as technology, for all employees in their units. Please work directly with your manager or supervisor regarding your particular situation. UConn Health's goal is to have as many employees work from home a possible while still allowing UConn Health to perform functions critical to its mission. While the formal telecommuting form and process will be temporarily relaxed during this time, employees will still need approval from directors or higher-level leaders and Human Resources to telecommute. Human Resources questions can be emailed to

Large group meetings

Effective immediately, no events larger than 100 people will be permitted at any UConn Health site. This includes all events and meetings.  If possible, alternatives such as teleconference or virtual conferencing methods should be used to hold large events; otherwise they should be cancelled or postponed.  In addition, UConn Health strongly recommends the postponement or cancellation of any non-essential live gatherings and meetings of large groups, even those smaller than 100 people.

Visitors to UConn Health Clinical Sites

Effective immediately, UConn Health has implemented new restrictions on visitors to our clinical sites (inpatient and outpatient) to ensure a healthy and safe environment for patients, staff, and visitors amid the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  All visitors to our clinical locations will be screened.  Additionally, the number of visitors that patients are allowed will be limited per the new Visitor Policy.

The current situation continues to be very fluid.  Ongoing evaluation of policies and procedures will continue, and we will strive to communicate any new developments or changes as they occur.

To that end, we will be holding another audioconference call, Monday, March 16, at noon, to address your questions. Please forward questions ahead of the call to  Questions will also be accepted during the call.

I want to thank you for your patience and flexibility, as well as your prompt effort to adopt these steps to help reduce risk to our own community and to contribute to curtailing the global spread of the virus.