Dear Middlebury Community,
We are writing to follow up on our November 11 message with some updates about the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, Vermont’s rising case rate, and actions we can take to support our entire community’s health and safety.
In this email we will address:
- State of the State
- Protecting Our Community
State of the State
COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Vermont, including in Addison County. There were 591 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the state yesterday and 19 of those were in Addison County. Today another 505 new cases were reported in Vermont, with 8 new cases in Addison County. The percent of individuals in Vermont who tested positive for COVID-19 over the last seven days is 4.2 percent. These statistics are among the highest that Vermont has experienced since the pandemic began.
Vaccinations help prevent infection and reduce illness severity, but fully vaccinated individuals are becoming infected with the highly contagious Delta variant.
Prevalence on the Middlebury campus remains low. We want to prevent an outbreak, which would require isolating a large number of students, contact tracing, and other mitigation measures. An outbreak could also impact Thanksgiving travel plans and possibly affect our broader community. Many faculty and staff have young children between the ages of 5-11 and they remain vulnerable as they are only beginning to get vaccinated. Our work to stay safe as a campus community will help this group stay healthy.
Protecting Our Community
Masking and vaccinations are still the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please take the following actions to protect yourself and the entire community from infection:
- Enjoy outdoor activities.
- Keep gathering sizes small and limit them to those individuals you know well who are not sick and have not been exposed to COVID-19.
- Consider takeout options instead of indoor dining at crowded locations.
- Avoid crowded areas outdoors and indoors, large gatherings, and other college campuses, especially in areas experiencing a high prevalence of COVID-19.
- Be vigilant about wearing a mask in all public indoor spaces, including grocery stores, pharmacies, and hair salons.
- Get a booster. All faculty, staff, and students living or working at Middlebury are eligible.
- Get tested and self-isolate if you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms. Students can get tested at the Center for Health and Wellness. Faculty and staff can get tested by the Vermont Department of Health and at local pharmacies or Porter Hospital.
As always, we are closely monitoring the situation in the state and the county. We do not anticipate any changes in our COVID-19 protocols at this time but if we do need to make adjustments, we will communicate those to the community.
Chief Health Officer and College Physician
Vice President for Student Affairs