Safe Return to Work After the Holiday Break
| by Mark Peluso and Jennifer Kazmierczak
Dear Faculty and Staff,
We write to provide important health and safety information and instructions for preparing to return to work after the holiday break.
Keeping Our Community Safe
With the continuing surge of COVID-19 cases throughout Vermont and in surrounding states, Governor Phil Scott through his executive order continues to restrict multi-household social gatherings. The Vermont Department of Health also strongly advises against nonessential travel, even within Vermont. Any nonessential travel to and from Vermont requires a quarantine of 14 days, or seven days followed by a negative test. In addition, anyone who visits or stays with you must abide by the state’s Visitors to Vermont guidelines.
We hope you were able to enjoy your break and find ways to make it special, even with these restrictions. If you did travel or gather with people from other households, it is critical that you act now to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19, in case you were exposed or are sick and don’t have symptoms.
If you traveled or gathered with people from other households over the break—including visiting relatives who no longer live with you, such as a returning college student or older child—do not return to in-person work on campus until you have met the quarantine requirements (either a 14-day quarantine or a seven-day quarantine followed by a negative test).
Testing Opportunities in Vermont
Over the last two weeks, Vermont has increased COVID-19 testing capacity across the state. Appointments for free testing should be made via the Department of Health website.
We have paused the College’s targeted dynamic testing program for the remainder of the semester but continue to offer testing to students on campus who develop symptoms of COVID-19. At this time, we are not offering general testing to employees. If conditions change in Vermont and in Middlebury, we will re-evaluate that approach.
Even with new restrictions in place, the Vermont Department of Health modeling data predicts a spike in COVID-19 cases in Vermont after the holiday break as a direct result of gatherings. That is why it is more important than ever that we follow state and College guidelines to avoid potentially contracting or spreading the virus, and to keep our communities safe.
As you return to work on campus, remember that strictly adhering to these essential precautions will protect yourself and others:
- Stay home if you are sick or have had possible exposure from travel or gatherings.
- Work remotely if you are able to do so.
- Maintain physical distancing while on campus, including during breaks when eating or drinking.
- Wear a face covering.
- Practice good hand hygiene.
- Continue to avoid small gatherings.
Thank you for your continued work to maintain a safe and healthy campus. If you have questions about work schedules, please contact your supervisor directly. If you have questions about College guidelines, email Covidinfo@middlebury.edu.
Chief Health Officer and College Physician
Environmental Health and Safety Officer