| by Mark Peluso

Faculty, Fall 2020, Staff, Students

Dear Middlebury Community,

I am writing to provide an update about the latest COVID-19 testing results. As of this evening, we have identified one additional positive case, for a total of three active cases on campus. We have 24 students in quarantine.

Of the 1,130 tests taken yesterday (Tuesday), one was positive, 1,110 were negative, and 19 individuals will be offered retests due to insufficient samples. We tested a total of 1,636 individuals over the past two days (Monday and Tuesday), with three positive results overall. Results are posted on the COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard by noon each day we receive results.

The student who tested positive most recently is being moved to isolation housing, and contact tracing is underway. As always, to respect student privacy, we will not release any more information about these individuals, and we encourage you to avoid speculation.

While in isolation and quarantine housing, students receive meal delivery, ongoing communication from Health Services, weekly support groups facilitated by Counseling, a health education program to help address the challenges of quarantine, and outreach from other campus offices. Later this week, contactless self-care supply stations will be available for students as well. 

Contact Tracing and Understanding Exposure

As a reminder, knowing a person who has COVID-19 or who is in quarantine does not mean that you are a contact or need to quarantine. Brief interactions are not always considered a close contact situation. The contact tracing team will determine who an infected individual’s close contacts are, and notify those individuals whether quarantine is necessary. If a student in quarantine develops symptoms or has a positive test, they would be considered a case, and contact tracing would begin. 

While an increased number of new cases of COVID-19 on campus is somewhat expected given case surges in Vermont and the United States, it is essential that we continue to closely follow Middlebury’s campus quarantine rules as well as Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s order restricting social gatherings, which went into effect last Saturday.

Continue Health and Safety Protocols

During these final days of in-person instruction on campus, and as most students prepare to travel, it is more important than ever that we 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. Tips for travel safety, navigating conversations on reducing exposure with family and friends, and creating personal health resource plans are included in the required End of Semester course on SafeColleges. If you have further questions, refer to the College’s fall 2020–21 website and Announcements

Vermont Testing for Faculty and Staff

Any faculty or staff member who wishes to be tested may sign up for an appointment via the Vermont Department of Health website. Porter Medical Center in Middlebury is hosting Department of Health testing and as of Monday added daily COVID-19 testing appointments as well.


Mark Peluso

Chief Health Officer and College Physician