Dear Students, 

Norovirus is of particular concern because it shares some symptoms with these other illnesses, and it is highly contagious. Often referred to as the “stomach bug” or “stomach flu,” norovirus is easily spread from person to person through contaminated food and by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus specifically from saliva and fecal matter.

Symptoms of norovirus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and sometimes fever and muscle aches. Characteristics of norovirus are that it has a short incubation period of 12–48 hours (about two days), and symptoms typically last for 24–72 hours (about three days). Dehydration is a concern for people who get these illnesses, especially in children and older adults.

Anyone who develops symptoms should do the following: 

  • Stay home or in your room until symptoms have resolved except to use the restroom and get grab-and-go meals 
  • Rest
  • Avoid large meals until symptoms decrease in severity 
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the restroom and before eating or drinking
  • Wash clothing, bedding, towels, and other fabrics that may have been contaminated with the virus
  • Clean surfaces with an EPA-approved or College-provided disinfectant especially after vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Do not share food, drinks, glasses, eating utensils, or anything that touches someone else’s saliva 
  • Do not prepare or serve food for anyone else 

If your symptoms are severe or you are concerned about your health status, please call the Nurse Triage Line at 802-443-3290 or access MiddTelehealth after hours for support. 

Please note that the virus can spread from person to person for days before and weeks after symptoms have resolved. Everyone can help to reduce the risk of sharing and contracting the norovirus and other pathogens circulating at this time of year by taking a few simple measures and precautions as follows: 

  • Do not share food, drinks, glasses, eating utensils, or anything that touches someone else’s saliva
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using the restroom or before preparing food, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers frequently 
  • Clean surfaces with an EPA-approved or College-provided disinfectant especially those that are shared with others
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables well, and thoroughly cook shellfish when preparing food 

As always, students with COVID-19-like symptoms should follow the instructions in the Campus Guide

Be well,

Barbara McCall
Executive Director, Center for Health and Wellness

Sandy Robinson
Director of Health Services