Dean of Students Update: Testing, In-Person Classes, Activities
| by Derek Doucet
Happy Friday! I hope you are settling in and off to a successful start to the spring term. In this week’s DOS update, I’ll forecast what changes in restrictions we expect in the coming days, share information about the upcoming Student Activities Fair, offer important information about how you can keep yourself and others safe, talk about campus deliveries, and more. First, I want to offer you a heartfelt thanks for helping us get off to a good start. However as our results from yesterday’s testing show, COVID-19 is present in our community, and we all must do our part to minimize the risk of transmission. I therefore ask that you stay focused on our essential health and safety expectations.
What to Expect After Day Seven Results
If prevalence on campus after Day 7 test results is low and compliance with essential health and safety measures is high, we anticipate the following changes in restrictions:
- Up to six close contacts, as defined in the Spring Campus Guide, permitted.
- Travel within the town of Middlebury permitted for essential needs, including groceries, off-campus storage unit access, prescription medications.
- Use of Rikert Nordic Center and the Snow Bowl permitted (and FREE to all students, with a reservation!)
- Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 students, with face coverings and physical distancing, permitted.
We will confirm these changes in another message when they take effect. We hope and expect to loosen additional restrictions in the coming weeks.
What We’ve Learned About High Risk Behaviors
We’ve learned a great deal from our own fall experience and what has occurred at other colleges and universities. It has become clear that group gatherings that don’t follow health and safety expectations, and violating quarantine and isolation requirements after known exposure, are very risky behaviors that have led directly to outbreaks and lockdowns at other campuses. While I know it is difficult, I want to reiterate how critical it is that we all follow expectations fully in these areas. Recent positive test results have highlighted this point and it is not an exaggeration to say that our in person experience may depend upon it.
We anticipate that all Day 7 test results will be received by March 4 and in-person classes may begin as early as March 5. A final decision on the start of in person classes will be made based on actual testing results. Please monitor the Campus Status Page regularly for updates.
Student Activities Fair Held Virtually March 1-5
The Student Activities Fair is an awesome opportunity to learn about student organizations, meet org members, and ask org leaders any questions you may have. Visit go/SAF2021 to see which categories and orgs are scheduled for each day and to find each of their Zoom links. New orgs and links are being added daily.Visit go/SAFGuide for tips on how to prepare questions and get the most out of the fair!
Useful Information about Face Coverings
Proper use of face coverings is among the most important ways we can reduce viral transmission. Our Health and Wellness Education team produced this excellent resource on this critically important topic.
Two delivery huts where merchants/restaurants can deliver goods to campus are now open (75 Shannon Street and Hillcrest Road by the cemetery entrance).
- Students may order directly from local businesses and are responsible for coordinating delivery times with them.
- Payment is between the student and the business, in whatever way works best for them. Payment over the phone is strongly encouraged to minimize contact.
- The delivery person must meet the student at the delivery hut, maintain a physical distance from the student of at least six feet or more at all times, and wear a face covering. Do not come to the delivery area if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19, or if you have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Alcohol deliveries to students on the Middlebury College campus are prohibited.
- Students who are required to remain in room quarantine or isolation housing may not use the delivery service. Friends may be able to do a pick up and bring it to you as long as the drop-off is contactless.
Contact email@example.com with questions.
Open Office Hours with Mark, Jen, and Derek
Chief Health Officer Dr. Mark Peluso, Director of Environmental Health and Safety Jen Kazmierczak and Dean of Students Derek Doucet will hold weekly open office hours each Friday from noon to -1:30 p.m. You can submit your questions in advance or simply come and listen in on the conversation. We’ll start each week with a focus on a specific aspect of our COVID-19 response. Next week, March 5, we’ll begin with discussion of the concept of close contacts. Join the conversation!
Dean of Students