Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
I’m writing with an update to previous messages we’ve sent to members of the Middlebury community regarding the coronavirus. The health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff are our paramount concern, and we’ll keep providing support as well as timely information as situations continue to unfold.
As you’ve seen in the news, the situation regarding coronavirus is evolving daily. As of February 28, cases have been reported in more than 50 countries, including the United States. At Middlebury, we continue to closely monitor developments concerning the coronavirus and are prepared to respond, as necessary.
The College and the Institute are following CDC guidance. College health staff are not aware of any active coronavirus cases on our campuses or in our communities at this time.
The Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad are continuing to operate, with the exception of the School in China, which we suspended in January. Should the situation in any of our host countries warrant relocating students, we’ll be prepared to implement contingency plans. The communications we’ve sent to study abroad students can be found on our resources page.
If you’re making travel plans for spring break or any purpose—work or vacation—please check for travel updates regularly. Travel restrictions change as the virus continues to evolve rapidly. Government agencies and transportation authorities may enact additional restrictions with little or no advance notice. Travel guidance has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea, and several countries have imposed entry restrictions, quarantines, and isolation protocols.
As my February 20 message to the community indicated, Middlebury will no longer support any faculty, staff, or student travel to China through the summer. China has a CDC Warning Level 3 Travel Notice indicating “Avoid All Non-Essential Travel.” South Korea also has a Warning Level 3 and is to be avoided until further notice. It’s likely other destinations may rise to Warning Level 3 Travel Notice as the coronavirus spreads, and the same no-travel policy will apply. Individuals who choose to travel to these locations without Middlebury support may be subject to U.S. restrictions, including quarantine or isolation.
Please be sure to register any Middlebury-supported (financial or academic support) travel for all international trips by completing the Travel Registration Form. Your travel registration will be shared with Global Rescue, which will allow you to receive health, safety, and security alerts based on your destination as well as notifications for events happening around the world. You can also download the Global Rescue GRID application. Through this app, you’ll be able to reach out directly to Global Rescue in an emergency situation via its in-app emergency call button as well as run destination reports, and view event alerts.
All travelers, with or without college support, should follow these recommendations:
- Monitor restrictions and advisories through the CDC, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), U.S. Department of State, and International SOS.
- Check with your airlines as some are temporarily suspending flights.
- Consult with your healthcare providers, especially if you have chronic health conditions.
- Consider purchasing refundable airline tickets and/or travel insurance.
- Consult your destination’s embassy about possible travel restrictions.
- Be flexible, expect travel delays, and have a backup plan.
- Check Parton Health Center’s Four Simple Steps for Safer Travel.
As a reminder, to help prevent the spread of illness, including the flu and common cold:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
- Cover your cough, and cough into a tissue or your sleeve, not your hand.
- Avoid sharing drinks, food, cigarettes, and vaping products.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
Thank you for being vigilant.
During this time of uncertainty, caring for ourselves and for others is our top priority. We’ll continue to monitor the coronavirus and provide updates as developments occur.