| by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Campus Notes

Dear MIIS Community:

As the winter break nears its end – and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus – we continue to monitor closely the rapidly-evolving COVID-19 situation, including changes in public health guidance. I encourage you to read these weekly updates carefully to stay informed of campus protocols and practices, which will likely change alongside changes in the Omicron situation. Keep in mind that the best protection against COVID-19 and its variants is to get your booster and wear a well-fitting mask.

Vaccine Boosters Required by January 28: Verification of COVID-19 booster shots will be required by January 28 for all members of the Institute community who will be on campus at any point during the spring semester. If you have not already done so, please be sure to get your booster as soon as possible. Booster verifications should be uploaded into the Sentry system by logging in with your middlebury.edu email address. Vaccine and boosters locations in Monterey County can be found here. Students not yet eligible for a booster by January 28, due to the later timing of their second vaccination, should complete and submit the Booster Information Form

What to Do if You Test Positive for COVID-19: There is a lot of confusing information out there on what to do if you test positive for COVID-19. The Institute has a quick COVID-19 Response Plan that will help guide you if you test positive. The California Department of Health has also compiled easy-to-follow guidelines.  

Don’t Forget: Lanyards, MIIS ID card, and COVID compliance stickers are required on campus. Lanyards are available for pick-up from Security for all faculty, staff, and students and must be worn at all times on campus unless in your personal office. COVID compliance stickers are available for those that have uploaded their vaccine verification or have an approved exemption. Stickers are available in Security for students and in HR for faculty and staff. Only faculty, staff, and students who are fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption are allowed on campus. 

If you need a new MIIS ID card: 

  • Upload a headshot photo to the MIIS directory. Log in with your middlebury.edu email address and then click “Upload Photo” at the top of the web page.  A square photo is preferred.
  • E-mail miissecurity@middlebury.edu your name, Institute ID number, and best email address.
  • Security will make your ID card and notify you when it’s ready for pick-up in person.
  • Security is able to mail ID cards to online-only faculty, staff, and students. Follow this process and include your mailing address in your email to Security.

Face Coverings Required Indoors, N95 and KN95 Masks Encouraged: The Institute and the State of California continue to mandate face coverings indoors. Experts suggest that cloth masks are not as effective in preventing the spread of the Omicron variant. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, members of the Institute community are strongly encouraged to wear N95, KF94, KN95 masks, all of which feature high filtration efficacy. Cloth masks should only be worn in conjunction with surgical masks. All masks should be well-fitted and worn to completely cover your nose and mouth, as loose-fitting masks do not provide adequate protection. For help determining what masks to purchase, we recommend the website of ProjectN95, a non-profit organization that vets masks.

Returning From Winter Break: Faculty, staff, and students who are returning from the winter break are strongly encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus. A COVID-19 testing site is available at the Portola Hotel & Spa at 2 Portola Plaza in downtown Monterey, within easy walking distance of the Institute. Free PCR tests are available from 7 AM - 4 PM Tuesday through Saturday. There are other vaccine and testing locations in the local area, including at the Tuesday Farmers Market (including rapid antigen tests), the Monterey Airport, and Monterey Peninsula College. We’re hearing reports of longer waits for results of PCR tests and will continue to monitor lag times and provide guidance if and when feasible. Additionally, you can now order 4 free rapid test kits from the United States postal service at this link. Orders are currently limited to 4 tests per household. Residents of Munras Housing will receive separate guidance on testing requirements. 

Thanks for your continued diligence in keeping the campus community safe during these difficult times.  

Jeff Dayton-Johnson
VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Institute