| by Mark Peluso

Dear Middlebury Community,

I am writing to inform you that early results from yesterday’s testing included two new positive cases of COVID-19 on our campus. These are the first positive results among students since arrival week testing in August. 

Of the 506 tests taken yesterday (Monday), two were positive, 495 were negative, and nine individuals will be retested due to insufficient samples. We will post the latest results on the COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard by noon each day that we receive results.

The students who tested positive are being moved to isolation housing, and contact tracing is underway. They will be receiving meal delivery and other support.

To respect student privacy, we will not release any more information about these individuals, and, as always, we encourage you to avoid speculation.

We are continuing campus operations as planned and will update you if any changes are necessary.

Contacts of Contacts

Please keep in mind that simply knowing a person who has COVID-19 or having interacted with a person who is in quarantine does not mean you are a contact. Please see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of a close contact. If a student in quarantine develops symptoms or has a positive test, they would be considered a case. Contact tracing would ensue, and any close contacts in the infectious period would be identified and quarantined. Contacts of contacts are not considered to have been exposed and do not need to quarantine.

Testing Continues

COVID-19 testing continues today. We currently have about 300 open appointments for students today, and we will be updating our testing plan for the week if needed.

Given the nature of the virus and current surges in Vermont and throughout the nation, we anticipated that we might identify additional positive cases on campus. Still, this news underscores the importance of strictly abiding by Middlebury’s campus quarantine rules as well as Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s order restricting social gatherings, which went into effect at 10 p.m. last Saturday. 

We must all continue to practice the essential health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19—wearing face coverings, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and limiting social activities to only those from your household, with whom you live. 

Please refer to our Preparing for a Safe Departure from Campus website for a checklist, information about testing, and other resources. If you have further questions, please refer to the College’s fall 2020–21 website and Announcements. You also may reach out to covidtesting@middlebury.edu.


Mark Peluso
Chief Health Officer and College Physician