| by Derek Doucet

Faculty, Fall 2020, Staff, Students

Good afternoon, Students,

This week’s Dean of Students updates include information about some easing of our COVID-19 Phase 2 restrictions, guidance for families wishing to come to Middlebury to visit, and how to request approval for off-campus group events. We also have news about more food trucks (!) and other dining-related matters, campfires on campus, and as always, an invitation to share your COVID-19-related feedback with us.

Continuing easing of COVID-19 restrictions
The following changes to our COVID-19 rules will take effect on Monday, October 5. Until that time, the present COVID-19 rules remain in effect. If there is any change to this plan prior to the Monday, we will notify the community. 

    • Residential room capacities will increase from N+1 to N+2; and from N+2 to N+3 in Atwater suites; physical distancing and face covering expectations will remain unchanged in these spaces.
    • Visiting off-campus residences will be permitted under the following conditions:
      • All individuals present are enrolled as on-campus learners or have met Vermont cross-state travel quarantine rules.
      • No one present is or has been sick in the past 48 hours or had a recent exposure to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
      • A maximum group gathering size of 10 people, including residents of the household, remains in place.
    • Removing face coverings is permitted for outdoor athletic activity provided a minimum six-foot distancing is maintained. For example, biking, running, or singles tennis are activities where face coverings may be removed when distance can be maintained. Face coverings remain required for any activity in which six-foot distancing cannot be maintained. If in doubt, wear a mask. Face coverings should still always be carried on the person in the event that circumstances warrant their use.
    • Coach- or staff-supervised, non-touch outdoor athletic activity within six feet while wearing masks is permitted. If inadvertent physical contact is occurring, the activity should be stopped or modified.
    • Overnight outdoor camping within Addison County is permitted with face coverings, physical distancing, and a maximum group gathering size of 10. Indoor off-campus overnight stays continue to present a significant risk to campus health and safety and are not allowed at this time.

Family visits
We understand the desire many families have to come to Middlebury and visit with students off campus. It’s essential that any such visitors comply fully with Vermont cross-state travel quarantine rules. If visitors are coming from a location not subject to an arrival quarantine, this is permitted if the following criteria are met:

    • The visitors are not experiencing COVID19-like symptoms and have not been recently exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
    • Face coverings are worn by all, and physical distancing is maintained.
    • If sharing a meal together at local restaurants, outdoor seating is strongly recommended.

Requesting approval for College-sponsored, off-campus group activities
Off-campus College-sponsored group activities such as community service or other student organization-related activities are possible and require prior approval. To make this easier, we have created an online form for approval requests. Student organizations, athletic teams, and individual students need to fill out this form if:

    • Planning to use College funding or resources for your travel,
    • Organizing an activity as part of a College entity (for example a student organization or athletic team). 

Examples of when this form is needed include:

    • When student organizations are planning events off-campus.
    • When an athletic team plans to volunteer off-campus.

Examples of when the form is not needed include:

    • Running errands in town such as picking up groceries. 
    • Running errands for your organization, such as picking up individually wrapped snacks or supplies for an event at a local store. 
    • Going for an informal hike with a few friends.

Food trucks
Food trucks will again be on campus this Saturday from 12 to 3 p.m. on McCullough lawn. The trucks will feature BBQ, wood fire pizza, homemade brownies, whoopee pies and other desserts.

Reusable food containers
Please return your reusable food containers to a dining hall so that they can be cleaned, sanitized, and reused.

Outdoor fires
As a reminder, if you want to have a campfire on campus, it needs to be part of an organized outdoor gathering with prior approval from Event Management.

Feedback form
As always, we want and need your feedback on how this most unusual and challenging semester is going, and information about what you need to help make it better. You can tell us here.


Derek Doucet
Dean of Students