After weeks of encouraging Covid-19 test results, Andover transitioned to a level yellow-risk category on Saturday, April 24, meaning the Covid-19 virus is at a “lower” risk of transmission. Due to this change, boarding students will be permitted to walk to downtown Andover, according to an email sent to the Andover community by Jennifer Elliott ’94, Assistant Head of School for Residential Life and Dean of Students, on Wednesday, April 28.
Boarding students have not been authorized to travel downtown while on-campus since the 2019-2020 Winter Term. Additionally, a limited number of visitors will now be allowed on campus. These new protocols will go into effect after classes on Friday, April 30.
“Per the risk stratification tool that has guided our decision making, our on-campus data, and our local community data, as [Dr. Amy Patel, Medical Director] announced on Saturday we have shifted into the next risk level: yellow. Moving into the yellow zone means that our boarding students will have increased movement off campus and visitors will be allowed on campus with guidelines. Please understand that, at any time, we may need to pull back on these expectations and adjust course,” wrote Elliott in the email.
While students may access indoor facilities while masked, indoor dining is prohibited for boarding students. Campus rules of masking and social distancing also apply to the downtown area. Students may travel downtown as west as Whole Foods and as north as Stop & Shop, according to Elliott. Although students may go beyond these boundaries, they must receive permission from their house counselor or class dean to do so. However, boarding students may not enter any residences or cars, including those of day students.
Serena Lee ’22 looks forward to traveling downtown to avoid expensive food delivery fees.
“I’m super excited to go downtown because the delivery fee for most food from downtown is equal to or more than the cost of the actual food, so I’m excited about that. I’m a little nervous that we’re going to go from yellow [risk category] to red, but we’ll see,” said Lee.
Each student may have a maximum of four visitors, and only outdoor contactless visits on the Great Lawn are permitted, according to Elliott. Thankfully, however, students may come into contact with visiting pets. Visitors must be masked and may not be a close contact, meaning they cannot spend “more than 15 cumulative minutes in a 24 hour window within six feet” of an Andover student. Elliott reiterated that visitors are not permitted in any residential spaces.
Elliott called on the Andover community to foster a “community of care,” encouraging students to follow masking and distancing protocols, treat others with kindness, and respect the campus. This follows multiple instances of green Paresky Commons containers being left on public spaces, such as the Great Lawn, instead of being placed in designated retrieval bins.
“In our community, we have always been proud of our students for their independence, deep sense of responsibility, and commitment to each other. These suggestions are small, regular, and essential ways that you can live up to your strengths and our expectations,” wrote Elliott. “To keep our community and our neighboring communities safe and healthy, we must promote and cultivate a community of care.”