Dean of Students Update: Prearrival Reminders and Getting a Healthy Start
| by Derek Doucet
Many of you are already here on campus, and the energy and enthusiasm for being together is exhilarating. It’s great to have you here participating in orientation and training events. The rest of you will arrive this weekend, and we can’t wait!
While we remain optimistic about the upcoming semester, recent news reports about the pandemic remind us that we must be prepared to respond as a united community to the evolving public health context. A number of other schools, including some of our NESCAC peers who returned to campus earlier than Middlebury, have experienced significant COVID-19 outbreaks among fully vaccinated students during their arrival periods. These outbreaks have required that students be moved to isolation housing per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, have stretched student care resources, and resulted in a return to tight restrictions. Vaccination continues to be the best protection against the worst symptoms of COVID-19, but there are other steps we must take to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak at Middlebury.
Getting a Healthy Start
To reduce the possibility of transmission of the virus, it’s important that all students follow these preventative measures before and after arrival:
Don’t come to campus if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19. Contact Health Services right away at email@example.com or 802-443-3290. If you test positive for COVID-19, we’ll work with you to arrange a late arrival when you’ve recovered.
Avoid unnecessary exposure before you arrive. Wear a well-fitting face covering when inside and around others and avoid large gatherings.
Wear a well-fitting face covering at all times when indoors and around other people. This is required.
Once you arrive on campus, socialize with friends outside whenever possible.
Avoid crowded spaces. Recent outbreaks at other schools have been traced to indoor gatherings where most people were not wearing face coverings. We ask you to make community-minded choices about how you socialize for your own protection and for the protection of others.
Regularly monitor the Campus Status webpage. It’s your go-to for the most current COVID-19 related policies and information. Here’s the shortcut: go/campusstatus.
All students, except those who have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days and have informed Health Services, are required to present printed documentation of a negative PCR test upon arrival at the Virtue Field House for check-in.
If your results are delayed, bring proof of your testing appointment. You will then enter room quarantine until you receive a negative test result. Note that Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) are a form of PCR test and are acceptable. Antigen test results are not accepted.
Declaring Your Point of Origin
It is essential that we know where you will be travelling from to campus. All students are therefore required to declare their point of origin using this form. Please take care to enter your student ID number correctly.
Things to Look Forward To
Student Involvement Fair
Join us at the Student Involvement Fair on September 21 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on McCullough Lawn. Our student organizations, campus departments, and community organizations will be available to answer your questions and share what they offer. We hope to see you there! Visit go/presence for more information.
Big Programming Coming Soon!
The Middlebury College Activities Board (MCAB) and the Student Activities Office have big plans for the fall and will share information about upcoming events soon.
We’ve received a number of inquiries about whether registered parties will be permitted this fall. Unfortunately, the answer is “No,” during the arrival period, which we anticipate will continue through October 1. We will reevaluate at that time and certainly hope to be able to relax this temporary restriction. Please know that this is necessary in the short-term to help prevent outbreaks similar to those on other campuses.
In Case You Missed It
We have sent a number of important communications to students in recent weeks. All announcements are posted on the College website announcements page. In case you missed them, following are three timely announcements:
How to proceed if your prearrival test results are not back yet on arrival day
Safe travels. We can’t wait for you to arrive.
Dean of Students