Safe Departure from Campus
| by Mark Peluso and Jennifer Kazmierczak
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As we approach the final weeks of in-person instruction and prepare to leave campus for the fall semester, we write with guidance to help you prepare for a safe and healthy departure, travel to various destinations, and reunite with family and friends.
Keep Vigilant: COVID-19 Surges in Vermont and New England
Over the past several days, Vermont and other New England states have reported new COVID-19 case surges including outbreaks at colleges in neighboring Chittenden County. These surges are highly concerning and a reminder that we still could have an outbreak at Middlebury before the end of the semester.
With most students planning to travel in the next two weeks, we must continue to provide a safe living environment on campus while we plan for departure. For those reasons, we now are advising all Middlebury students studying in person to stay on or close to campus.
Pre-departure and End-of-Term Protocols
Staying on or close to campus now is critical to reducing exposure to COVID-19. We must continue to follow every health and safety measure that has worked for us thus far to prevent and contain potential spread of the virus. This includes wearing face coverings, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and isolating if symptoms occur.
Pre-departure and end of term safety expectations include:
- Staying on campus as much as possible.
- Limiting trips to town for essential purposes only, and keeping trips very brief.
- Continuing to enjoy outdoor recreation in Addison County (hiking, biking, running, roller skiing), but only if it can be done with physical distancing from others.
- Conducting off-campus social meetings with faculty, staff, or local residents virtually, whenever possible. If meeting in-person, ensure face coverings are worn and physical distancing is maintained.
- Ordering takeout meals instead of dining in a restaurant.
- Avoiding large gatherings or anyone not wearing a face covering as much as possible.
It is still possible to connect with small groups of friends and have fun even as we follow strict health and safety protocols. To provide more opportunities for these gatherings, we have ordered fire pits and food trucks and have planned activities. We are not adjusting gathering sizes, shutting down facilities, requiring dorm restrictions, or taking other more stringent measures. We are simply asking you to stay on or close to campus as COVID-19 surges in Vermont and elsewhere, and continue to practice good mitigation measures. In short, live your life in a way that prevents exposure.
Website: Safe Departure from Campus
We have created a Safe Departure from Campus website with a departure checklist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, information about our COVID-19 testing program, instructions for those traveling to locations with special requirements, and advice for enjoying time together. We recommend similar measures for faculty and staff as you prepare for the holiday break.
We encourage you to read this information carefully, stay safe, and enjoy the final two weeks of the semester.
Chief Health Officer and College Physician
Environmental Health and Safety Officer