Dean of Students Update: Safe Departure from Campus
| by Derek Doucet, Mark Peluso, and and Jen Kazmierczak
As we approach the final weeks of the spring semester, we write with guidance to help you prepare for a safe and healthy departure from campus, travel to various destinations, and to reunite with family and friends.
As a reminder, students not approved to attend commencement are required to depart within 24 hours of their last final exam, and take all belongings with them.
Pre-Departure and End-of-Semester Protocols
With a continued low prevalence of COVID-19 on campus, in Addison County, and in Vermont, we plan to approach the end of the semester differently than we did in the fall. Most notably, we do not plan to require a campus quarantine prior to students’ departure, unless conditions dramatically change. Instead, we will continue operating as we have throughout the spring semester, with the latest guidelines published on the Campus Status website, and following the core health and safety practices of wearing face coverings, physical distancing, hand hygiene, limiting gathering sizes, and adhering to travel restrictions.
During the final weeks before departure, we encourage students to take advantage of the many planned activities on campus and to spend time outdoors where the risk of transmission of the virus is lower. This includes participating in outdoor recreation opportunities, gathering in small groups outdoors on campus, and taking advantage of the end-of-semester Stressbuster activities, or one of the other upcoming student organization events. Students may now travel within the state of Vermont for essentials and outdoor recreation also. Please review the Travel section of the Campus Status website for more details. As a reminder, indoor dining at restaurants is not permitted; takeout meals and outdoor dining are allowed.
Pre-Departure COVID-19 Testing
As part of our pre-departure protocols, we will offer optional COVID-19 testing for students the weeks of May 17 and May 24. Advanced signup for a testing appointment is required. The testing center schedule and links to sign up will be posted on the COVID-19 Testing Schedule page. This includes testing for those who are traveling to destinations where a negative test is required.
For those whose travel does not require a test, keep in mind that test results represent a specific point in time and do not guarantee that an individual will not become infected before departing campus.
In addition, please note that any student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for at least 10 days on campus. Their close contacts who are not fully vaccinated also will be required to quarantine on campus until they receive a negative Day 7 test, even if the required period for isolation and quarantine extends beyond the date of planned departure from campus.
Safe Departure from Campus Website
We have revised our Safe Departure from Campus website with a departure checklist and information about our COVID-19 testing program. We encourage you to read this information carefully, stay safe, and enjoy the final weeks of the semester.
Please send questions about departure planning to COVIDinfo@middlebury.edu, and we will direct you to the right place. And while we will not be holding open office hours this Friday, we will resume them next week.
Thank You for a Successful Year
In closing, we’d like to recognize once again the incredible dedication and commitment our students, faculty, and staff have shown in keeping our community safe this academic year. While none of us expected a year like this, your hard work and fortitude have allowed us to accomplish great things and to be together in ways we thought might not be possible. We are deeply grateful.
Dean of Students
Chief Health Officer and College Physician
Director of Environmental Health and Safety