Dear Middlebury Community,
We are writing with a preview of plans for the start of spring semester as well as some general COVID-19 updates. We are also working on communications regarding student prearrival and arrival instructions for spring, which we will send in a separate email.
In this message, we will address:
- Start of Spring Semester
- Required Testing for Remainder of Winter Term
- In-Person Dining
- Masking Guidance
- Booster Deadline Reminder
- Feb Celebration
Start of Spring Semester
The start of the spring semester will feel similar to the start of winter term. The first three days of the semester (February 14–16) will be remote for most classes, followed by in-person instruction. This will help us complete a full arrival testing cycle before the start of in-person classes.
Although remote classes will be the default for the first three days, some labs and classes will be conducted in person during that time in cases where faculty feel comfortable being in the classroom and their pedagogy is greatly enhanced from students’ presence there. Faculty who choose to teach in person February 14–16 have been asked to accommodate students who are unable to join them in the classroom.
We will provide information about prearrival and arrival testing for all students in a future email.
Required Testing for Remainder of Winter Term
Starting this week, students will be required to test once each week, except for those who have a testing exemption from Health Services because they have recovered from COVID-19 within the past 90 days. Students may sign up for appointments using the student testing link. We will continue to offer some additional appointments for optional testing on both days, including those identified as close contacts, as capacity allows.
We have resumed in-person dining for all students except those in quarantine, isolation, or in-room recovery, or those completing a masking requirement after isolation or in-room recovery. Students in quarantine or those who have completed their five-day isolation or in-room recovery period but are still within the required 10-day masking period may come to the dining halls for grab-and-go meals only. Masks must be worn when picking up meals from dining halls. Meal delivery will continue for students in isolation or in-room recovery.
Along with vaccination and boosters, we know that well-fitted masks continue to be one of our best mitigation strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19. Masks are required indoors at all campus locations for all individuals (unvaccinated and vaccinated), except in the following cases:
- Alone in a private space or work area.
- Alone in your dorm room, alone in your room with your roommate(s) or suitemate(s), alone with individuals with whom you have regular and frequent close contacts (e.g., your close friends), or alone with your intimate partner.
- When eating or drinking, or attending to personal hygiene needs in the bathroom.
Masks should also be worn indoors in public spaces in all off-campus locations, except as noted above.
Booster Deadline Reminder
Many students, faculty, and staff have already uploaded their booster information, and we thank you for doing so. In accordance with Middlebury’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, all eligible students, faculty, and staff must receive a COVID-19 booster shot, unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption. Those who are not yet eligible must receive the shot within two weeks of their eligibility. The final deadline is February 14. This is based on evidence that vaccines provide the best protection against all forms of the virus.
Appointments for vaccination and boosters are available through the state, pharmacies, and individual healthcare providers. A list of clinics is available on the Vermont Department of Health website, where individuals may search by town or county.
All students, faculty, and staff should retain a copy of their booster record. Students may upload their record via the student health portal. Employees may upload booster documentation via the SentryMD portal, and will receive confirmation of the upload after doing so.
We look forward to celebrating the Class of 2021.5 with an in-person ceremony and ski-down on Saturday, February 5. While this year’s celebration contains many of the same traditions as past years, in order to align with current COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, the celebration will take place in Virtue Field House, a bigger, more open setting than Middlebury Chapel, with high-quality ventilation similar to an outdoor setting. Family and friends wishing to attend the ceremony are required to comply with all health and safety guidelines as outlined on the COVID-19 Guidelines page. Visit the Feb Celebration website for more details.
There are many great things to look forward to as we approach the spring semester. As always, we are grateful for your commitment to our campus community, especially in this period that’s both hopeful and full of challenges. Please direct any general questions to COVIDInfo@middlebury.edu.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Chief Health Officer and College Physician