| by Mark Peluso and Derek Doucet

Faculty, Fall 2020, Staff, Students

Dear Middlebury Community,

We are writing to share the results of our most recent COVID-19 tests of students arriving on campus August 28 and 29. Of the 1,109 students tested, there were zero positive results; 1,103 tests were negative; and six individuals will be retested due to insufficient samples. We also received 26 additional results from retesting, and all were negative.

Our COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard reflects the total number of tests taken along with confirmed positive and negative results. The number of tests exceeds the number of individuals tested because each student is tested on Day 0 and Day 7 after arrival. Insufficient sample/retest results are not included until a confirmed result is received. We continue to support one active case on campus, and two close contacts are quarantining.

While we are encouraged by these early results, follow-up testing of all students seven days after their arrival is another vital component of our plan and an important safeguard against potential spread of the virus. We want to remind you that all students living on campus must continue their campus quarantine and will not be permitted to leave campus until September 15. Once we advance to Phase 2, students will be allowed to travel within Addison County and later, in Phase 3, within Vermont. 

Testing Continues
We will continue our comprehensive COVID-19 testing program with retesting of a small group today, and Day 7 testing for most students on September 2 and 4. We then will begin our Targeted Dynamic Testing of 750 campus community members each week, with a focus on employees working on campus. Should there be any additional positive cases, we will post the latest results on the College’s COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard by noon each day that we receive results.

It cannot be said enough that we must remain vigilant during this period of campus quarantine and beyond. The entire campus must strictly follow health and safety protocols—including the wearing of cloth face coverings, regular hand washing, and physical distancing—and abide by our codes of conduct to ensure a successful semester. Please keep in mind that we may still see positive cases with our Day 7 tests, and if we do, we will work with the Vermont Department of Health to initiate contact tracing. Those who have been in close contact with anyone who tests positive will be required to return to room quarantine.

In addition, any student who is on campus or who is enrolled to study on campus and living off campus and is experiencing symptoms should immediately contact Health Services. Any student who wishes to speak to Counseling Services may do so by calling 802-443-5141. Any faculty or staff member or student not living on campus who develops symptoms should call their own healthcare provider directly and inform their supervisor of any needed accommodations. Campus-based contact exposures will be addressed though our Targeted Dynamic Testing program.

Dining Services and Quarantine
As we move through our return to campus plan and continue campus quarantine, we will assess our processes and adjust as needed. Our first days on campus demonstrated the need to be flexible, specifically with dining. In order to ensure sufficient physical distancing and minimize the number of people in any one place, we have further staggered our dining schedules through campus quarantine. As a reminder, those in room quarantine without confirmed dining arrangements may have a friend pick up a meal for them and leave it at their door.

Finally, we want to thank our students, faculty, and staff for your partnership in preparing for the fall semester. Thank you especially to those staff members who assisted with meal delivery on Sunday while our students awaited their test results. Your efforts were greatly appreciated, and we are sure we speak for many when we say it was gratifying to see our community come together in creative ways under these unusual circumstances.

If you have further questions, please refer to the College’s fall 2020–21 website, the Return to Campus Guide, and Announcements. You also may reach out to covidinfo@middlebury.edu.


Mark Peluso
Director of Health Services and College Physician

Derek Doucet
Dean of Students