Last Updated: 6/29/20

New Content In:

Newest questions will be at the top of each section.

Health

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In general terms, our assessments will remain focused on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Vermont Department of Health guidance, which is updated frequently and is readily available to all community members. Specific CDC and American College Health Association guidance for institutions of higher education will also continue to inform our procedures. All colleges and universities are making their own calls based on local conditions and state guidance, and so far, their decisions are varying widely. To ensure the safety of our campus and local community, we will continue to act on the conservative end of the spectrum—and meet or exceed the professional guidelines.

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Middlebury College will ask all students returning to campus to self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to returning to campus. At the end of the 14-day quarantine period, students may return to campus only if they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 and have had no known exposure to COVID-19. This will reduce their exposure while at home and reduce the risk of their bringing COVID-19 to campus.

We are implementing a robust testing program in partnership with the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Broad Institute that will allow us to deliver tests for COVID-19 infection. Two rounds of COVID-19 viral tests are being planned for each student, including an anterior nares specimen on day 0 and again on day 7. (See also the Broad Institute’s description of their COVID-19 diagnostic testing.) Any positive tests will result in immediate isolation of the student followed by contact tracing. After two negative tests and a 14-day at-home self-isolation, the likelihood of this student bringing COVID-19 to campus is exceedingly low. This procedure currently exceeds state guidelines.

Students who are not able to do the 14-day quarantine at home before their arrival will be required do so in their dorm rooms on campus.

In addition, students will be required to prescreen for COVID-19 symptoms each day, wear cloth face coverings, practice good hand hygiene, practice physical distancing, and follow all other applicable health guidelines in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

We are considering a plan for periodic testing throughout the semester.

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Faculty and staff will be required to prescreen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to the workday, wear cloth face coverings, practice good hand hygiene, practice physical distancing, and follow all other applicable health guidelines in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. An online COVID-19 training must be completed before faculty or staff are allowed to work on-site. Middlebury has a COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan that documents additional measures used to protect the health and safety of our employees and comply with mandatory health and safety requirements. The College will provide two reusable cloth face masks to all faculty, staff, and students returning to campus. However, we are asking you to partner with us and use your own face coverings, when possible.

Under current state recommendations, Vermont faculty and staff would not be required to have a test before returning to campus, given the low incidence of coronavirus in Vermont at this time. Individuals who have traveled shortly before returning to campus should follow a 14-day quarantine, or could arrange for a seven-day quarantine and arrange a test with their healthcare provider on day 7, per current Vermont Department of Health guidance for travelers. It may take a few days to get the test results back, as asymptomatic tests are currently prioritized after acute or symptomatic individuals’ tests.

Currently, employees who need testing due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure would arrange that testing through their healthcare providers. In certain cases, such as a known outbreak, the Department of Health would arrange testing for exposed individuals. Pop-up testing sites for asymptomatic individuals who have no known exposure are available through the Vermont Department of Health. Middlebury will provide testing if these options are not possible.

While current CDC, Vermont Department of Health, and ACHA guidance do not specifically recommend routine periodic testing of asymptomatic individuals, College health officials are exploring that option. If it becomes advisable for us to test Middlebury staff and faculty for asymptomatic cases, we would partner with our high-capacity testing center to arrange that testing solution. As with anything COVID-19, this advice could change. Visit the Vermont Department of Health websites for daily situational updates. 

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The governor is planning to announce specific guidelines for Vermont institutions of higher education. Middlebury College has played an active role in developing these guidelines, which we expect to be released within the next few weeks. We will update this response when the governor’s guidelines are published.

On June 10, the governor made the following remarks at a press conference: “We’re working with Vermont’s colleges and universities in order for them to reopen this fall, too. Our decisions will still be based upon the data as we get closer to September, but for our entire education system it’s critical we finalize the plan now so that we can reopen in the fall. Over the coming weeks, the Restart Vermont team led by former Norwich president Richard Schneider, representatives from the University of Vermont and the VSC (Vermont State Colleges) system, and representatives of AVIC (Association of Vermont Independent Colleges) will continue to develop guidelines for our colleges and universities and we’ll share more as they are finalized.”

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Beginning two weeks prior to their assigned arrival day, students will complete a 14-day quarantine at home. Once the 14-day quarantine period is complete, and if they have no COVID-19 symptoms and no known exposure to COVID-19, they may travel to campus. Students will then undergo a two-phase testing process on day zero and day 7 using an anterior nares specimen and viral test. (See also the Broad Institute’s description of its COVID-19 diagnostic testing.) Our testing vendor states that results will be available within 24 hours or less. Students will be required to return to their rooms after the day 0 test for room quarantine. Should there be a delay in testing results, quarantine will take longer. 

Once we have the first set of results, students with negative test results who traveled directly to campus in their own personal vehicle will be released to campus quarantine, meaning they can leave their rooms and interact on campus. Physical distancing procedures, hand hygiene, cloth face coverings, and other health and safety protocols will apply. Students will be restricted to remaining on campus or, if they live off campus, asked to stay in their off-campus housing when not on campus. 

Students who did not travel directly to campus in their own personal vehicle after a 14-day quarantine at home (e.g., they traveled by plane, bus, or train) must remain quarantined in their rooms on campus after the first day (day zero) COVID-19 test described above (or in their off-campus residence if they live in off-campus housing). Those students must stay in room quarantine until the results of the day 7 test are back. If the results of the day 7 test are negative, then those students will be released to campus quarantine as described above. (Note: this particular 7-day room quarantine guidance could change as we continue to work with the Vermont Department of Health. Please see Q&A below.)

Any students with positive tests will be immediately isolated in specific isolation housing with ongoing medical, emotional, dining, and residential life team support. Orientation, training, and other activities are being planned for students during this time and beyond.

Testing will be repeated on day 7 for all students prior to the start of classes. Students identified through contact tracing who need to quarantine (possibly exposed but not sick) will be managed on a case-by-case basis. In many cases, students will be able to quarantine in their rooms following Department of Health guidance. In some cases, students may be relocated to other housing, as necessary. Current guidance for room quarantine duration due to exposure is either 14 days without a test or, alternatively, seven days plus another negative test.

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At this point in time, students have the option of coming to Vermont (or to any location within direct driving distance of Vermont) 14 days early and quarantining at that location. Otherwise, students who cannot travel directly to campus in a personal vehicle after a 14-day at-home quarantine (e.g., students who travel by plane, bus or train) will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and must quarantine in their rooms on campus (or in their off-campus residence if they live in off-campus housing).

Students must stay in room quarantine until the results of the day 7 test are back. If the results of the day 7 test are negative, then students will be able to move out of room quarantine to campus quarantine. Students who test positive for COVID-19 on the day of their arrival or after the second test will be moved to isolation housing. 

We are continuing to work with the Vermont Department of Health to determine the parameters of campus quarantine vs. room quarantine for students who cannot travel directly to campus. The governor is expected to release guidance for Vermont colleges and universities in the coming weeks, and clarification of the long-distance travel and quarantine issue has been requested. We realize that it will not be possible for all students to drive directly to Vermont and we are working with our Department of Health and governor’s task force colleagues on clarifying this issue.

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Protocols will include staggered arrivals of students and multiple rounds of testing when students return, quarantine before and after they arrive on campus, cloth mask use, restrictions on travel and visitors, limiting gatherings according to Vermont guidance, physical distancing protocols, and other preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection, as well as an evacuation plan. We understand that the ability of our students, faculty, and staff to adjust to this new reality will play an essential role in our success. Effective implementation of this new reality will require a prearrival education program for students and the entire community, and a health pledge that students must sign before arriving, which will be strictly enforced. We are designing these now with our health communications and student life teams.

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Faculty and staff should contact their personal care providers and isolate in accordance with Vermont and CDC guidance. The Vermont Department of Health will be notified, and contact tracing will commence.

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Honest representation will be emphasized in prearrival communications. While currently exceeding CDC and Vermont guidelines, testing on arrival is intended to identify any asymptomatic positive cases as early as possible. Finally, the ability to move to less restrictive phases, including dining, will depend on the success of student behavior and outcomes. 

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Students and employees will be required to conduct a brief daily COVID-19 symptom screening, exposure, and temperature self-check at the start of each day. A digital survey has been created and should take only a couple of minutes to complete. We expect to be using a tool—either a web-based tool or an app that can be downloaded onto a phone—that will also support rapid contact tracing when an individual tests positive for COVID-19. More information about this technology will be provided closer to students’ arrival on campus. Students should bring personal thermometers with them to campus so they can check their temperatures daily.

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Students will move into their rooms and remain there until the first test results are back. Meals will be delivered to dorms during the quarantine period. Leaving the room to use the bathroom or grab a meal from the dorm delivery point must be allowed—however, lingering cannot be allowed, and physical distancing, cloth face coverings, and hand hygiene protocols must be followed. Students will be warned in advance of this, and noncompliance could result in the loss of housing privileges for the remainder of the semester. For students who are able to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming to campus and travel directly to campus (assuming that they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms and no known exposure to COVID-19 during the 14-day period), we expect that the room quarantine will end as soon as the first test results are back—within 24 hours is expected. Should there be a delay in testing results, quarantine will take longer. Students who are unable to meet the direct travel and 14-day prearrival quarantine period will be required to remain in room quarantine until after their second test results have been returned and are negative.

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Students with positive test results will stay in dedicated isolation housing. Transportation will be provided as soon as possible to the isolation housing facility. Contact tracing will commence immediately. 

Students in isolation will be supported by health, counseling, and residential life staff. Meals will be provided.  

Students who live off campus will be subject to the same guidelines as on-campus students.

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Contact tracing and subsequent testing of individuals identified as a contact will be managed by the Vermont Department of Health.

Students identified through contact tracing who need to quarantine will be managed on a case-by-case basis. In many cases, students will be able to quarantine in their rooms following Department of Health guidance. In some cases, students may be relocated to other housing, as necessary. Students in quarantine will be supported by health, counseling, and residential life staff. Meals will be provided. Specific instructions will be provided to students as we get closer to arrival day, including what to bring and how to plan for possible quarantine.

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Students will be required to stay on the Middlebury College campus. Students living in off-campus housing will be asked to stay in their houses and only travel directly to and from campus. Trips to town, trails, lakes, and other locations will be prohibited during any campus quarantine period. Local merchants will be encouraged to deliver goods to campus. Cloth face coverings, physical distancing, and limited-size gatherings will all be in effect and must be followed. Use of personal vehicles will be prohibited except for students living in off-campus housing who travel to and from campus for orientation activities. Gatherings at off-campus housing will be prohibited.  

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According to the CDC, social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing stay at least six feet (about two arm’s lengths) from other people. See the CDC’s guidance on social distancing.  

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Annual influenza (flu) vaccine is recommended by the CDC for all U.S. citizens older than six months of age, barring any medical contraindications. Vaccination reduces the burden of respiratory illness in our community and reduces the likelihood that an individual would need to be quarantined for eight to 14 days or longer due to concerns about COVID-19. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to get an annual flu vaccine once it becomes available. Students, because they either live in congregate housing or have significant interactions with other students that do, will be required to get a flu shot this year, barring any medical or religious exemptions. A specific medical and religious exemption form will be available this summer. 

Further information about COVID-19 vaccinations will be provided once a vaccine is developed. 

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The College will work with the Department of Health to facilitate contact tracing. College health officials and Department of Health officials are prepared to work together to identify close contacts. The Department of Health will use the Sara Alert system to help manage and follow COVID-19 infected and exposed individuals. Employees will be asked to follow Department of Health guidance and stay home. Students in quarantine or isolation will be supported by health, counseling, and residential life staff. Meals will be provided. Specific instructions will be provided to students as we get closer to arrival day, including what to bring and how to plan for possible quarantine.

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Campus quarantine is expected to continue until all returning students have completed the arrival testing process. Due to the staggered arrival, this means that some students will remain in campus quarantine even after their second test is negative. Once all returning students have completed the two rounds of testing (day zero and day 7), gradual relaxation of local off-campus travel restrictions will be considered. Any restrictions will depend on the local, regional, and national situations with respect to COVID-19 and cannot be predicted at this time. It is reasonable to predict that low levels of COVID-19 would allow for fewer restrictions.  

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There will be several mechanisms to care for and interact with students being isolated for COVID-19. The current plan is to isolate students in a separate building across the street from the Parton Health Center and on the edge of campus closest to Porter Hospital. For students who test positive but have no symptoms or very mild symptoms, daily Zoom check-ins with health center staff will be arranged. Students with mild to moderate illness will have the option of either a telehealth or in-person visit. Support is available 24/7. Students with moderate to severe illness will likely be referred to Porter Hospital or UVM for further care and monitoring. Health center staff will be carefully monitoring hospital access, intensive care capacity, and ventilator capacity through the UVM Health Network. Mental health support will be available for students through the counseling service or 24/7 through a telehealth mechanism.

Logistics such as supplying food, fluids, and medications and removing refuse will also be provided. Residential life staff will be available to support students as well.

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According to CDC and Vermont Department of Health guidance, someone has recovered from COVID-19 when all three of these have happened:

  1. It has been three full days of no fever without the use of fever-reducing medication, and
  2. Other symptoms have improved, and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.   

For individuals who never had symptoms but had a positive test, this guidance would mean that isolation would last for 10 days. The Vermont Department of Health and the Sara Alert system will help guide isolated individuals as well.

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The general student population will perform a daily symptom, exposure, and temperature check at the start of each day. Students with symptoms will be instructed to contact Parton Health Center immediately so that medical personnel can follow up and take the necessary steps. Students with severe or sudden-onset symptoms can always call 911. Porter Hospital is within two miles of campus. Students in isolation and/or quarantine will use the Department of Health’s Sara Alert system to track symptoms. For students who test positive but have no symptoms or very mild symptoms, daily Zoom check-ins with health center staff will be arranged. Students with mild to moderate illness will have the option of either a telehealth or in-person visit. Support is available 24/7. Students with moderate to severe illness will likely be referred to Porter Hospital or UVM for further care and monitoring. Health center staff will be carefully monitoring hospital access, intensive care capacity, and ventilator capacity through the UVM Health Network.Mental health support will be available for students through the counseling service or 24/7 through a telehealth mechanism.

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Some individuals may have higher risk of severe illness and should carefully consider their plans. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified groups at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness and Other At-Risk Populations). Please note the CDC revised their guidance on June 25, identifying 7 conditions that cause individuals to be at higher risk for severe illness and identifying several other conditions, such as asthma and Type 1 diabetes, that might cause increased risk.

Consistent with Middlebury’s ADA policy, Middlebury students and employees who have any of the medical conditions identified by the CDC and require reasonable accommodations to participate in educational programming or perform their job duties should contact the appropriate campus office: Disability Resource Center (students) or Human Resources (employees). Documentation from the individual’s healthcare provider must be submitted. Faculty with a concern about a specific class or pedagogical question should communicate with the appropriate dean (VPAA/dean of the faculty for the College; VPAA/dean of the Institute for MIIS). If the issue identified does not meet the legal definition of a disability, Middlebury will make reasonable efforts to consider and implement modifications. Requests for reasonable accommodations from individuals with qualifying disabilities that have been documented to cause an increased risk of severe illness will be given priority. 

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Yes, we are contracting with a telehealth company to increase our capacity to provide counseling, psychiatric services, nutritional services, and medical services to students. This will enable students to access care 24 hours a day regardless of where they are living in the country. We expect this resource to be available with the start of the fall semester. This company will work in concert with our on-campus Vermont counseling and health service offices.

All incoming first-year students will be asked to complete a mental health questionnaire prior to arriving on campus. Students who score in clinical ranges will receive direct outreach from our staff and be informed of available on-campus and remote resources. Other students will be invited to complete mental health assessments once they return to campus and will be alerted to available resources. Health Services is working with the Health and Wellness Education (HWE) office to ensure that students receive regular information about mental health and medical self-care, with ongoing educational campaigns. The HWE office will also train key students to offer effective peer-to-peer support. Though requests remained high, there was not an increase in requests for counseling and mental health support in the spring. All employees of Middlebury have access to the Employee and Family Assistance Program, which can connect employees with mental health professionals.

Contact Tracing

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The College will support the Vermont Department of Health with contact tracing efforts. A process of contact list generation through class registrations, housing assignments, and possible athletics or other group participation will be promptly provided to the Department of Health to facilitate their contact tracing efforts. Individual privacy will be maintained in accordance with state regulations. Several health center and sports medicine staff and faculty members have participated in the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 contact tracing course and can provide further assistance to the Department of Health if necessary. In addition, the College is testing a contact tracing app to further facilitate this process.

PPE

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The College follows guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Vermont Department of Health (VTDOH) to determine when personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn. PPE is selected based on a hazard assessment and an employee’s specific job duties. When an employee is required to perform a task considered very high risk or high risk, the employee will be trained and provided with PPE. Examples of very high-risk tasks are healthcare providers or first responders performing aerosol-generating activities, such as specimen collection or performing CPR. PPE that may be required includes respiratory protection (N95 respirator or powered air-purifying respirator), gloves, body protection, and eye/face protection.

Cloth face coverings are not considered PPE. When worn, cloth face coverings can aid in reducing the spread of the virus by containing respiratory droplets and secretions from the person wearing the face covering. The primary intent of cloth face coverings is to prevent the wearer from spreading the virus to others, especially by asymptomatic individuals. All faculty, staff, and students will be required to wear cloth face coverings while on campus.

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PPE is selected based on a hazard assessment and an employee’s specific job duties. When an employee is required to perform a task that is considered very high risk or high risk, the employee will be trained and provided with the necessary PPE to perform their work safely. Cloth face coverings are not considered PPE but are required as a public health measure to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets and secretions.

Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or N95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. Cloth face coverings can be made at home from common materials or purchased. The College will provide two reusable cloth face masks to all faculty, staff, and students returning to campus. However, we are asking you to partner with us and use your own face coverings, when possible.

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PPE is selected based on a hazard assessment and an employee’s specific job duties. When an employee is required to perform a task that is considered very high risk or high risk, the employee will be trained and provided with the necessary PPE to perform their work safely. Cloth face coverings are not considered PPE but are required as a public health measure to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets and secretions. 

Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or N95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. Cloth face coverings can be made at home from common materials or purchased. The College will provide two reusable cloth face masks to all faculty, staff, and students returning to campus. However, we are asking you to partner with us and use your own face coverings, when possible.

Staff Work Protocols

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Departmental plans are being developed to determine which staff members will return to work on campus. In accordance with state orders, staff who are able to work from home should expect to continue to do so. Some staff whose work is more easily completed on campus will be invited back to modified office space where they can be physically distanced from others. Those who work closely with students, such as health services staff and residential life staff who enter rooms, will be provided with personal protective gear and training to maintain safe work practices and a healthy campus environment. Anyone returning to campus must receive approval to do so. We are developing a back-to-campus app that you will learn more about soon.

Student Arrival

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We are planning to divide students into three groups and have a staggered arrival, beginning with the first group consisting of residential life staff, peer health educators, orientation leaders, First @ Midd peer leaders, ISSS PALS, and other student leaders, who will arrive on August 18. The second group will consist of all incoming new students, all international students not serving in any of the group-one leadership roles, and fall athletes (assuming competition is possible) and will arrive on August 26, to be followed by the third group on August 28. Please note that while we have every intention of keeping with this schedule, the public health situation is constantly evolving. If you are purchasing airline tickets, we recommend you consider travel insurance or changeable tickets, if possible. 

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While we recognize the challenges this strict arrival schedule may impose, it is necessary to give us the greatest possible chance of starting the semester with a healthy campus, and so will only consider alternative arrivals in cases of true emergency.

Housing

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We will be conducting the room draw process over the month of July for returning students. Returning students will be able to select their own housing, including living with or near small groups of friends. Over 50 percent of our housing on campus is singles. New incoming students, international students and US students abroad uncertain if they will be able to return due to visa or travel restrictions, and students awaiting decisions on their study abroad programs will be assigned housing in August. We are also actively exploring the addition of new properties to our housing system.

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Students whose study abroad program is canceled prior to July 6 will be able to complete a housing application and participate in the July room draw process. For programs that cancel after July 6, those students will be part of a second housing process in August. 

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Yes, students who were approved through the off-campus lottery system may live off campus. They will be subject to the same policies and procedures applicable to students living on campus. It will be critical that they carefully observe all state and town safety protocols. 

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If you have any disability-related needs that you believe may influence your housing assignment, please visit the Disability Resource Center for details on the process to request accommodations. While we will work hard to identify reasonable accommodations to allow full participation, please note that our ability to do so may be limited by our housing inventory. Requests for accommodations after the housing application has closed may be difficult to meet prior to a student’s arrival on campus and will be prioritized based on the space available. Students may contact the Disability Resource Center at ada@middlebury.edu, 802-443-5936 (voice), 802-443-2382 (voice), or 802-443-7437 (TTY).

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Students who need to exercise extra health precautions according to CDC guidelines, including for issues that may not meet the definition of a disability, are encouraged to consult with their healthcare provider as soon as possible to make a personalized plan. Consistent with Middlebury’s ADA policy, Middlebury students who have any of the medical conditions identified by the CDC and require reasonable housing accommodations should immediately contact the Disability Resource Center. Reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities will be given priority over requests for reasons other than a disability.

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We anticipate that students whose special circumstances are such that they need to remain on campus after November 20 will need to request permission to do so from their deans. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.  
 

Dining

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Dining Services will adopt a three-phase approach similar to what various cities and states are doing around the country. Beginning in phase one, all meals will be to-go, and there will be limited outside seating under tents at each dining hall. No indoor seating will be allowed. Students will be assigned to a dining hall and required to receive all meals at that location. There will be a bagged lunch and dinner options at various locations throughout campus to reduce the number of students in the dining halls. In phase one and two, there will be several more changes, which are described below:

•    Food and beverage options will be limited.
•    All three dining halls will serve the same menu. 
•    All dining halls will follow a one-way traffic format.
•    Dining employees will serve all items.
•    There will be no self-serve bars in phase one and very few in phase two.

Please also note that student dietary needs and restrictions will be met per our usual protocols, and we will have similar options as we did last spring. Also, students will be allowed as much food as they like and can come back for more if they would like to do so. 

We have not yet determined how students will be assigned to dining halls. The dining and residential life teams are putting together a plan, which will most likely be based on proximity of dorms.  

The full dining plan will be emailed to students prior to their arrival.

Classes

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Yes. While we’re still working to finalize the full range of classes available to fully remote learners, this is an option. Our faculty have been working tirelessly with our DLINQ colleagues to prepare excellent online educational experiences.

RETURNING STUDENTS: You may declare your intention to study fully remotely by writing to your dean. If you elect to study remotely, you will not be charged the room and board or student activity fee, but the tuition will remain the same.

Commons Contact
Atwater Dean Scott Barnicle
Brainerd Dean AJ Place
Cook Michelle Audette, Assistant Director of Student Success
Ross Dean Emily Van Mistri
Wonnacott  Dean Matt Longman

INCOMING NEW STUDENTS: If you have questions about remote study this fall, please connect with a dean according to your last name in the list below. Note that the people listed below will not necessarily be your deans during the academic year, but they are your best point of contact at this time:

Last name starts with Contact
 A–Farr  Dean Scott Barnicle
Fat–Lap Michelle Audette, Assistant Director of Student Success
Lav–Rob Dean Emily Van Mistri
Roch–Z Dean Matt Longman
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Classes begin September 8. There will be no October break. Friday, November 20, will be the last day of on-campus classes for the semester, followed by a week of break. Classes will resume on November 30 with a week of remote instruction and then remote finals.

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We will decide about the schedule for the rest of the academic year during the fall semester, as we evaluate the broader public health situation.

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Faculty will be able to choose how they teach their classes, whether it be online, in person, or hybrid. We hope that most faculty will focus on one of these modalities for each course and not be teaching simultaneously in multiple modalities. We recognize that courses might need to be online and in person simultaneously when students are quarantined or isolated, so faculty will need to prepare for this eventuality. Faculty teaching loads will be “normal” in terms of the number of courses they are expected to teach, but there will be nothing “normal” about the upcoming semester, generally.

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We expect about a third of all classes to be exclusively online. Many classes will have both an in-person and online component, given space restrictions in classrooms and physical distancing requirements.

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Of the 530 courses we will teach in the fall, we anticipate that about 175 will be taught online. Please note, as well, that these will not be “emergency online” classes but will be well planned. Faculty are engaged in intensive training this summer in online teaching methods.

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That is still to be determined. We will be working with faculty over the next several weeks to determine which courses will be online and which will be in person or hybrid. Course descriptions will indicate the intended modality for the course. This information will be available in time for advising (late July) and registration (early August) so students can make informed decisions. Depending on health conditions on the ground, faculty will need to be prepared to pivot to online modalities at any time.

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In other words, if a faculty member has opted to teach a class in person, will there be a simultaneous online version as well so that students who don’t want to (or can’t) take classes in person can still participate in the courses that are being offered in person?

Most courses will be taught either online or in person; we don’t expect many of them will be taught simultaneously online and in person. Some faculty hope to offer such simultaneous instruction, and we will know more about what courses will be taught in both modalities in the next several weeks.

Study Abroad

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Middlebury is continuing to monitor and evaluate the situation for each of the Schools Abroad. Because the situation in each country and the requirements for students to be able to study in each nation varies considerably, we will make these decisions on a case-by-case basis. You can find the dates by which we expect to make our decision for each of the Schools Abroad here. Middlebury has made the decision that if the Department of State’s Global Level 4 Health Advisory—Do Not Travel that is currently in place is not lifted by July 15, we will suspend all fall semester study abroad, regardless of prior decisions. This would include Middlebury Schools Abroad as well as externally sponsored study abroad programs that are still running. 

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If you commit to your study abroad program and it is later cancelled, you will be able to enroll at Middlebury and will be included in a later room draw process in August.

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Students may simultaneously register for Middlebury College courses and Schools Abroad courses in the event that their study abroad program is cancelled. 

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Study abroad in this case may be possible. Please reach out to an advisor in the International Programs Office. Study abroad students may also refer to the International Programs FAQ page.

Financial Aid

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A leave of absence or deferral will not impact financial aid eligibility. Students are guaranteed eight semesters of financial assistance provided they reapply each year.

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For students who withdraw on or before September 7, there will not be any impact on their financial aid eligibility. For information on the College’s policy regarding refunds and withdrawals on or following September 8, please visit Withdrawal Refunds.

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Students will be permitted to have campus jobs assuming they can be performed in accordance with all applicable health and safety guidelines.

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Students who elect to take a leave should not anticipate a change in their eligibility to work on campus once they return to campus. This is similar to when students return from their time studying abroad.

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No, there are no changes to the College health insurance plan. More information is available here

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Student loan borrowers who take a leave of absence for longer than six months will be required to begin repaying their loans. More information is available here

Tuition

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Tuition will be the same regardless of the mode of delivery of the course. If students are experiencing unexpected financial challenges, please reach out to Student Financial Services

Withdrawal

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The deadline for declaring your intention to take a leave or defer admission is July 6.

For planning purposes, it is essential that students notify their dean by July 6 if they intend to withdraw for the fall 2020 semester. New students should notify the Office of Admissions by July 6 if they intend to defer admission.

Returning students considering taking a leave of absence should contact their deans with any questions, or to officially declare their intention to take a leave:
 

  • Atwater: Dean Scott Barnicle
  • Brainerd: Dean AJ Place
  • Cook: Michelle Audette, Assistant Director of Student Success
  • Ross: Dean Emily Van Mistri
  • Wonnacott: Dean Matt Longman
     

Incoming new students with questions about taking a gap year or deferring for a semester, or about the financial aid implications of those decisions, should contact the Admissions Office at admissions@middlebury.edu

For incoming new students who have other questions about what to expect at Middlebury this fall, connect with a dean according to your last name in the list below. Note that the people listed below will not necessarily be your deans during the academic year, but they are your best point of contact at this time:

 Last name starts with                             Contact

  • A–Farr                                             Dean Scott Barnicle
  • Fat–Lap                                           Michelle Audette, Assistant Director of Student Success
  • Lav–Rob                                          Dean Emily Van Mistri
  • Roch–Z                                            Dean Matt Longman

 

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Yes, in accordance with our refund policy, students can get a full refund if they withdraw before the semester starts. Middlebury will allow all students who have taken time off to return, though housing constraints might affect when they can return. The refund policy will follow a schedule similar to previous semesters. Please visit Withdrawals/Refunds for additional information.

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If the on-campus portion of the semester is shortened unexpectedly and all classes move to online, a credit will be issued for the unused portion of room and board only. Tuition will not be refunded.

Student life and travel

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Yes, though many social interactions will be different than in the past. Physical distancing, mask use, group size limitations, adjusted capacities in campus spaces, and other safety measures will be in place based on current U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Vermont Department of Health guidance. 

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Your access cards will only open the residence hall in which you live and any academic buildings to which you need access. Access to other campus facilities is still being determined. While we understand that you will visit friends in other halls, completely unlimited building access is inconsistent with our need to maintain physical distancing to the extent we are able. 

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All gatherings will need to comply with Vermont’s group size, space, and physical distancing guidelines in place at the time. At present, this means group gatherings of up to 25 people are permitted, though this could change at any time. Any such gatherings must be scheduled in spaces large enough to allow adequate physical distancing. The Office of Event Management is updating its space reservation process to account for these group size and space requirements. In addition to formally scheduled events, these requirements apply to all informal student gatherings, including parties, whether registered or impromptu. Group size and space rules must be followed in all cases without exception to maintain adequate physical distancing.

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Yes, assuming that the job can be performed in accordance with all applicable health and safety guidelines.

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The Middlebury experience also includes participation in a number of structured activities beyond the classroom, including in the creative arts, athletics, and club and intramural sports. This will not be a traditional fall on campus in any respect, including for those activities. We are creating guidelines for how students can continue to engage with the performing and studio arts, and faculty have begun conversations in regard to meaningful artistic engagement. Student Affairs is also developing plans for the many other clubs and organizations students enjoy outside of the classroom. We will share those with you over the summer and upon your arrival.

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The NCAA has provided guidelines for institutions that represent a phased return to sports. The NCAA has not currently amended any of their championships. NESCAC has not made any final decisions but did make this statement on June 19. The conference continues to develop plans for the return to athletics, including possible modifications to NESCAC rules to allow institutions flexibility to provide for meaningful experiences for students within school policies and federal, state, and local health directives. We anticipate that institutions will make their own decisions about NESCAC and NCAA play, and athletic directors will be working during the summer with institutional personnel to determine if there is a safe path forward for NESCAC schedules, consistent with NCAA guidelines, as well as state and CDC guidance. Middlebury cannot guarantee formal play but hopes to provide meaningful experiences for student athletes following all safety guidelines. 

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Yes, in accordance with our refund policy, students can get a full refund if they withdraw before the semester starts. Middlebury will allow all students who have taken time off to return, though housing constraints might affect when they can return. The refund policy will follow a schedule similar to previous semesters. Please visit Withdrawals/Refunds for additional information.

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Decisions about winter athletics have not yet been made. If winter sports are permitted, winter athletes will be permitted to be on campus, along with a limited number of other students, all of whom will need to be approved on a case-by-case basis.

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Initially, off-campus travel will be very limited and carefully monitored. There will be a phased approach to off-campus travel. During the initial arrival quarantine period, students will be required to remain on campus except for essential reasons such as critical doctor’s appointments or family emergencies. Requests for such an exception should be directed to your dean. Once we have successfully completed the arrival quarantine period, it may be possible to permit limited off-campus travel, such as within the town of Middlebury. The final decision will be based on the public health situation at the time. 

Note: any interstate travel permitted by the College must follow Vermont Department of Health guidelines.

Travel: Faculty and Staff

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We anticipate that there will be travel restrictions for all faculty and staff, based on federal, state, and local conditions and regulations. We are working on the travel policy, which will be available later this summer. 

Visitors/Guests

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We regret that students will not be allowed to have guests on campus, with the exception of move-in days, when one guest may accompany them for drop-off. These move-in day guests will be asked not to enter the residence halls. Other campus visitors are expected to be highly restricted as well, including restrictions on outside speakers, athletics spectators, and visitors to performing arts events and campus facilities such as the Museum of Art, McCullough Student Center, and the athletics center .  

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Generally, no. We anticipate that most if not all in-person guest lectures will be postponed.