As we prepare for the official start of the fall semester and classes on Monday, we write to share some updates about our COVID-19 protocols and to announce a new PCR testing program at Middlebury College. We have updated the Campus Guide and the Campus Status webpage, and we encourage you to check back periodically for the latest information.
In this email we will address:
- New Self-Administered PCR Testing Program on Campus
- Campus Guide for Fall 2022
- Mask Optional/Mask Friendly Campus
- Vaccination Policy
- Instructions for Those Who Have Symptoms, Were Exposed or Tested Positive
- Isolation and In-room Recovery
- Flu and COVID-19 Booster Clinics on Campus
- Campus Status Page
- Staying Informed
New PCR Self-Administered Testing Program on Campus
This fall, in addition to providing antigen test kits for employees and students on campus, we are launching a self-administered PCR testing program in partnership with Color Health. Self-administered PCR testing kits will be available at the Davis Family Library during regular business hours. You can find more information and instructions on the COVID-19 Testing page.
Students must drop off their samples the same day they take the test at Cenento House, patio level, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. A courier will pick up the samples each afternoon, Monday through Friday, and bring them to the Broad Institute for processing.
Antigen test kits will continue to be available at the dining hall check-in stations and at the Davis Family Library. Please note the state of Vermont, pharmacies, and Porter Medical Center no longer offer regular PCR testing in Middlebury.
Campus Guide for Fall 2022
We have updated the Campus Guide for the fall semester with all of the information you will need about our COVID-19 protocols. We will continue to update the guide, our policies, and procedures as conditions warrant. You can find a summary on the Campus Status page.
Following are some highlights from the Guide:
Mask Optional/Mask Friendly Campus
We continue to operate as a mask optional/mask-friendly campus. Anyone who chooses to wear a mask even when not required is encouraged to do so. Masks are still required in certain spaces, such as the Center for Health and Wellness, in various departments, and in classrooms, as specified by faculty and department heads. Most departments display signs indicating whether masks are required. Individuals also are required to wear masks when they are around others when symptomatic, during isolation for COVID-19 or during the 10-day recovery period.
Our vaccination policy remains in effect. All students must be up to date with their primary series and a booster shot when eligible. We encourage individuals to follow CDC guidance and the advice of their healthcare provider for securing additional boosters when eligible.
Instructions for Those Who Have Symptoms or Were Exposed
Per new CDC guidance, we have updated our instructions for those who have symptoms of and those who were exposed to COVID-19. The instructions contain information about testing and quarantine (stay home when sick) guidance in accordance with CDC guidelines. Students who test positive with an antigen, PCR or LAMP test must follow the applicable instructions for students, including reporting their positive results to Middlebury. Students who need help managing their symptoms should contact Health Services during business hours or contact TimelyCare 24/7.
Isolation, In-Room Recovery, or Recovery Off-Campus
Isolation is for people who, regardless of vaccination status, test positive for COVID-19 or are diagnosed with COVID-19 and need to be separated from others to avoid infecting them. Students should expect to recover in their rooms. This could include recovery with roommates who have not tested positive for COVID-19, with the assumption that, given the high transmissibility of COVID-19, these individuals already are close contacts who have been exposed. Students may also have the option of recovering at home or elsewhere off campus if it is safe to do so.
Meals will be provided at the dining halls by grab-and-go rather than delivery for those in isolation due to COVID-19. Students who feel well enough to do so should contact their faculty members to develop a plan for participating in coursework and other activities virtually, if those options are available. Students recovering from COVID-19 in their rooms are not permitted to have visitors.
During the recovery period, students remaining on campus (or other locations where housing is provided by the College, if applicable) must stay in their assigned room and may not leave except to use the bathroom or pick up a meal. They must wear well-fitted, high quality masks when leaving their rooms to pick up a meal or to use the bathroom. Students living off campus must follow the same protocols and isolate in their private residences.
Flu and COVID-19 Booster Clinics on Campus
The new bivalent COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are now available in Vermont, and a list of community clinics are posted on the Vermont Department of Health website. Vaccine clinics for students will be announced later this fall.
Middlebury Regional EMS will also host walk-in clinics Tuesday through Friday from 9. a.m. to 4 p.m. through September at their headquarters, 55 Collins Avenue, next to Porter Medical Center, which is walking distance from campus. They will run a special clinic on Saturday, September 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
We encourage you to become familiar with these protocols and to check back regularly for updates on the Campus Status page. Should you have additional questions, please email COVIDInfo@middlebury.edu.
Thank you, and best of luck for the start of the new semester.
Chief Health Officer and College Physician
Vice President for Student Life