In this email, we’ll address the following topics:
- State of the State
- Vermont Reporting Dashboard to be Discontinued
- Summer Planning and Communications
- Testing on Campus
- Antigen Tests for Students and Employees
- Vaccine Clinic in Middlebury
State of the State
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to designate many counties in Vermont, including Addison, with high COVID-19 community levels, even as the number of cases reported to the College remains low, and most individuals report mild to moderate illness.
Governor Phil Scott and state officials at their weekly press briefing Tuesday said Omicron still is the dominant variant of concern. The BA.2.12.1 subvariant comprises 30 percent of new cases in New England and 60 percent in upstate New York, rates higher than other parts of the nation. More study is needed, but health officials believe that full vaccination plus boosters provide the best protection against severe outcomes from COVID-19. They are closely watching trends in Maine, New York State and Massachusetts, said Vermont State Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.
In Vermont, the seven-day average of cases has increased by 4 percent, and hospitalizations have also slightly increased. Levine noted that many of the individuals who are hospitalized with COVID-19 were vaccinated but not boosted. He recommended once again that individuals assess their own personal risk and adjust their prevention measures accordingly. Those who test positive should contact their health care provider to seek treatment with an antiviral drug, even if they are experiencing mild symptoms, to prevent severe outcomes.
Vermont Reporting Dashboard to be Discontinued
Levine announced that the state will discontinue its COVID-19 reporting dashboard after May 18 in favor of weekly reports that provide a more accurate and comprehensive view of trends in Vermont. The health commissioner noted that case counts and positivity rates are no longer accurate with the proliferation of home tests, most of which are never reported. The first COVID-19 Surveillance Report was published on Thursday, May 11. New reports, which will include information about case trends, outbreaks, vaccination rates, wastewater testing, and the proportion of variants among cases over time, will be issued on Wednesdays on the health department website.
We at Middlebury will continue to evaluate the best ways to inform our community about COVID-19 incidence and protocols on campus and will share more information when it becomes available.
Summer Planning and Communications
We are working with program leaders to develop COVID-19 protocols for our summer programs and will be communicating with those groups directly. We will continue to offer PCR testing during the summer and will share more information when it becomes available. More information will be shared on various program websites.
We will continue these weekly email updates through Commencement. After that time, we will provide updates as necessary, including a preview of our plans for the fall once those are finalized. We anticipate that we will still have to have some COVID-19 protocols in place given the projections of an additional wave of cases in the fall, but it is too early to say what those plans will be. The COVID-19 Policy Group, which includes representatives from Student Affairs, The Center for Health and Wellness, Faculty Council, Human Resources, Information Technology Services, and Communications, will continue to meet at least monthly throughout the summer to discuss COVID-19 protocols for testing, student isolation spaces, and mask policies for the fall.
Testing on Campus
PCR testing for COVID-19 continues to be available at the testing window at Centeno House, 136 South Main Street, accessible via the patio facing the Service Building. No appointment is needed.
PCR testing will be available for students and employees on campus as follows:
- Next week, Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Monday and Wednesday, May 23 and May 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Students who need to take a PCR COVID-19 test for travel requirements after May 25 should schedule a test at a Vermont Department of Health site or contact Health Services. Please note that the lab that processes results will be closed on Sunday, May 29, and Monday, May 30, so there may be delays.
More information about testing is available on the COVID-19 Testing page.
Note that employees who are symptomatic may use a home antigen test kit and/or arrange testing through their healthcare provider, the Vermont Department of Health, or a local pharmacy. See also COVID-19 Testing and Reporting Instructions.
Antigen Tests for Students and Employees
We continue the distribution of antigen tests on campus as follows:
- For Students: Antigen tests are available in the dining halls at check-in and at the Davis Family Library circulation desk and at Health Services, Centeno House.
- For Employees: Antigen test kits and N-95 and KN-95 masks are available at the Human Resources Office at Marble Works, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at the Davis Family Library circulation desk.
Vaccine Clinic in Middlebury
As a reminder, the state continues to offer a COVID-19 vaccine clinic that is walking distance from campus, at the Middlebury Regional EMS headquarters, 55 Collins Drive, next to Porter Hospital. Clinic hours are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Vaccinations for the primary series and first or second boosters of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are available.
You can learn more from the Vermont Department of Health. If you have questions, please talk to your healthcare provider. Students who receive their booster should upload documentation of this to their student health portal. Employees may upload their new record to Sentry MD.
Thank you for your attention to these latest updates. Should you have questions, please write to COVIDInfo@middlebury.edu.
Chief Health Officer and College Physician
Vice President for Student Affairs