Dear Middlebury Community,

We are writing with some updates about the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, booster shot eligibility, and new guidance for U.S. air travel.

In this email we will address:

  • State of the State

  • COVID-19 Booster Eligibility for All Students, Faculty, and Staff

  • New International Travel Guidance

  • Limited Test Kits for Asymptomatic Employees

  • Weekly COVID-19 Office Hours

  • Health Reminders

State of the State

Governor Phil Scott and state officials announced at their Tuesday press briefing that cases of COVID-19 in Vermont showed a modest decline, decreasing by 15 percent over the previous seven days, and by 7 percent over the last 14 days. Cases in New England continue to decline at a slower rate than in other parts of the United States but are headed in the right direction. There were 65 COVID-19 cases in higher education last week, and prevalence on the Middlebury College campus remains low. As of this week 89.6 percent of all eligible Vermonters have begun the vaccination process. Vermont is second to Colorado in administering booster shots. 

COVID-19 Booster Eligibility for All Students, Faculty, and Staff

All faculty, staff, and students living or working at Middlebury are now eligible for COVID-19 boosters per the Vermont Department of Health, including those who are working remotely. Appointments are available through the state, pharmacies, and individual healthcare providers. 

Be sure to check which vaccines are available at the various sites. State officials have shared that they use a liberal definition of who is eligible. To secure an appointment, students, faculty, and staff may select “Patient is 18-64 years of age and is at an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to their work environment, based on individual benefit and risk” or any other category that applies when prompted. More information is available on the Department of Health website

Pharmacies and healthcare providers will also offer booster shots of any of the three vaccines to individuals 18 and older who wish to have a booster dose with a brand other than the one they initially received. The state will open registration for that option on November 1. Some pharmacies also offer the option of getting a flu shot at the same time as the COVID-19 booster.

Some of you have asked about how to provide a record of your booster shot to the College. We are working on a process for you to share this information and will provide more information as soon as it is available. In the meantime, it is important that you keep a copy of your vaccine card with your documented booster shot information so that it is available for uploading at the appropriate time.     

New International Travel Guidance

The Biden Administration this week released additional guidance for international air travel. The new international air travel policy requires foreign national travelers to the United States to be fully vaccinated. Starting November 8, “non-citizen, non-immigrant air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to fly to the U.S., with only limited exceptions,” the White House announced. The travel guidelines also include new testing requirements. In particular, unvaccinated travelers will be required to provide a negative test within one day of departure. Previously, all travelers were required to produce a negative result within three days of travel. More information is available in the White House fact sheet on international air travel.

Limited Test Kits for Asymptomatic Employees

We have a limited supply of take-home kits for asymptomatic employees having difficulty securing a COVID-19 test. Please keep in mind that it may take longer to receive results from these tests ​than it would to receive results from the Department of Health or a local pharmacy, so they should not be used as a convenience or replacement for other testing venues. If you are having difficulty securing a test and need an at-home test, please reach out to Amber Lee to coordinate pickup. As a reminder, if you are not feeling well, stay home and contact your healthcare provider.

Employees have several other options for testing off campus. Here are a few of them:

  • Create an account and sign up for COVID-19 testing at a Vermont Department of Health testing site in Middlebury or other locations statewide. (This is not necessary if you made a testing or vaccination appointment in the past).

  • Porter Medical Center offers testing by appointment only at the Ambulatory Respiratory Clinic on the main campus, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Call 802-388-8865 to schedule your appointment.

  • Testing is available through most major pharmacies in Vermont, including Kinney DrugsWalgreensCVS, and others.

  • Garnet offers same-day PCR and Antigen testing in South Burlington.

Weekly COVID-19 Office Hours

Please join us between 11:30 a.m. and noon EST each Wednesday for weekly COVID-19 office hours. Experts who have been monitoring and managing the COVID-19 pandemic response will be available to answer your questions. Click this Zoom link to join.

This is an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to learn more about the COVID-19 pandemic, including current guidelines, and the latest developments worldwide and locally.

Health Reminders

Continuing the health and safety behaviors we have practiced throughout the pandemic is essential. Following are a few reminders:

  • Wear a well-fitted face covering when indoors or outdoors in a crowded setting.

  • Stay home if you are sick, and get tested even if you have mild symptoms, regardless of vaccination status. 

  • Avoid large gatherings or spending time indoors where many people are not wearing face coverings.

  • If unvaccinated, wear a face covering around those you are visiting.

  • Get a flu shot.

  • Practice good hand hygiene.

Thank you for your continued commitment to keeping our community healthy and safe. As always, you can find the latest information on the Campus Status webpage.


Mark Peluso

Chief Health Officer and College Physician

Smita Ruzicka

Vice President for Student Affairs