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April 2018 Norovirus and water main break: FAQs


On Friday, April 20, the university began to respond to a suspected virus, later identified as Norovirus. On Tuesday, April 24, the City of Danbury experienced a water main break that compromised the quality of water being delivered to much of the downtown area. Then, on Wednesday, April 25, the City of Danbury expanded the water restriction to the entire city water supply.


  1. Why is the university still open?

We are confident we can provide a safe environment while allowing students and faculty to complete important work as we near the end of the semester. The university is mitigating hazards as they are reported. The Norovirus on campus, followed by the water main break nearby, has created a stressful situation. If we work together, we can stay healthy and accomplish our academic goals.


  1. Is the campus food safe to eat?

Yes. Food services is maintaining all safety precautions as mandated by the Department of Health. Local businesses are under the same restrictions for food safety.


  1. Why can I take a shower but not wash my hands?

The Health Department has advised that showering is acceptable as long as no water is ingested. Avoid contact with your mouth. Washing hands with bottled water after showering is advised to minimize the possibility of ingestion.


  1. Why can’t I drink the water?

The Health Department for the City of Danbury is monitoring the water and providing instructions on safety and precautions to be taken. No specific contagions have been identified; rather they are encouraging caution.

Bottled water is being distributed to all restrooms on campus, all residence halls and student centers. If you need more bottled water, please contact the Maintenance Department at (203) 837-8425 or submit a work order at


  1. Why are cleaning supplies now being delivered to classrooms and residence halls?

The university professional staff sanitized areas over the weekend and on Monday. The water restriction has caused a need for further sanitization protocols. If you think that something needs cleaning, we are providing the necessary products so you can sanitize your own area, rather than waiting for maintenance staff. If you require cleaning supplies, please contact the Maintenance Department (203) 837-8425 or submit a work order


  1. Are there additional cases of Norovirus being reported?

Yes, and the university is continuing to monitor reported cases. Protocols are still in place for sanitization. If you are a university member, please complete the survey that will be sent out to your university email. Regardless of whether you were sick, all students, faculty and staff are requested to complete the survey.


  1. If I am a student, what do I do if I am sick and have to miss class?

For students who need to stay out of class the next day or two, as per the health advisory, we ask that you let your faculty know right away, so they understand the reason for your absence.


  1. If I am an employee of the university, and I am sick and cannot report to work, what do I do?

Please contact your supervisor and follow your department’s process for calling in due to illness.


  1. What is the cause of the water problems?

The City of Danbury has experienced a water main break. This impacts the entire city of Danbury, not just the university. The City of Danbury Department of Public Utilities is managing the water incident.


  1. I am a resident student and am sick, how can I get food?

You may call food service at (203) 837-8670 on Midtown or (203) 837-3992 on Westside. If there is no answer, leave a message with your phone number, and you will receive a return call. Your food will be prepared for you, but there is no delivery service, so try to work with your RA or ask a friend to help you.


  1. I am not feeling well, what should I do?

For anyone who is experiencing vomiting, diarrhea or stomach pain, follow these guidelines:

  • Please, if possible, go home to limit spread to others on campus.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Clean all surfaces contaminated with vomit or stool with a bleach solution. Launder soiled clothes right away. Students who live on campus should contact Housing and Residence Life staff to assist with room cleaning if necessary.
  • If you become dehydrated, go to the nearest emergency department. (Signs of dehydration include dizziness, dry mouth, decreased urination, headache, muscle cramps.)
  • You may return to campus two to three days after you have recovered.
  • If you are unable to go home, stay in your room, report your situation to your Resident Director, and stay in touch with your family or others who will check on you.

These tips might help you stay well:

  • Use good hand hygiene and keep your hands away from your mouth.
  • Don’t share food, drinks, cups or utensils.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Clean surfaces in your living space frequently with bleach wipes.

Also, please complete the survey that will be sent to your university email account.


  1. If I am a resident student who feels sick, should I stay on campus or go home?

If you have the option to go home, and want to leave the residence hall, you may choose to do so. There is no mandate to leave the halls at this time due to safety concerns. If you choose to stay on campus, please continue to follow the safety precautions that have been provided.