Dear MIIS Community:
Happy New Year! Since my last update at the end of the fall semester, there has been a surge in the highly-transmissible COVID-19 Omicron variant. We are monitoring the rapidly evolving situation closely and will modify our safety protocols as needed. You can keep track of any changes in protocols and practices in these weekly campus updates.
Academic Format in J-Term and the Spring Semester: Spring 2022 semester classes will continue in the same hybrid format as the fall 2021 semester. That is, virtually all courses will be offered in a hybrid or fully online format accessible to students whether they are based in Monterey or not. Meanwhile, J-term classes scheduled to be in-person or hybrid, will continue as planned. Faculty, please contact your Dean if you seek to change the format of your J-Term or spring classes.
Vaccine Boosters Required by January 28: On December 21, we communicated that verification of COVID-19 booster shots will be required by January 28. If you have not already done so, please be sure to get your booster within the next three weeks. Booster verifications can 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, note that MIIS students do not have access to the Middlebury student health portal and should upload verification into Sentry. Students not yet eligible for a booster by January 28, due to the timing of their second vaccination, please email Ashley Arrocha, Associate Dean of Student Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Face Coverings Required Indoors, N95 and KN95 Masks Encouraged: The Institute continues to mandate face coverings for all community members indoors. Note that the State of California has also extended the indoor mask mandate through February 15. According to experts, 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, KN94, KN95, or other highly effective masks instead of cloth masks. 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.
Returning From Winter Break: Faculty and students 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, the Monterey Airport, and Monterey Peninsula College.
Thanks in advance for your diligence in keeping the campus community safe during these difficult times.
VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Institute