Dear Middlebury Community,
We are writing with an update about face coverings and our visitor policy following our August 10 fall planning and arrival procedures message. We are also including a link to the updated COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard with the current status of cases on campus.
Effective today, face coverings are required indoors in all public venues on campus for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. The following protocols apply:
- Faculty and staff must wear face coverings indoors except when alone in a private space or work area or individual office, when eating or drinking, or when attending to personal hygiene needs in the bathroom.
- Students must wear face coverings indoors except when in their own residence hall rooms, when drinking or eating in the dining halls, or when attending to personal hygiene needs in the bathroom.
The current face covering policy for visitors and guests indoors—included in our August 10 message about fall planning and arrival procedures—remains the same, as does the policy for all individuals outdoors. These are outlined in the following protocols:
- Approved visitors and guests are required to wear face coverings indoors.
- Students, faculty, staff, and approved visitors and guests are encouraged, but not required, to wear face coverings outdoors when in group settings where distance cannot be maintained and participants are stationary (e.g., sitting in a crowded stadium watching a sporting event).
This update in policy is based on CDC guidance related to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Addison County. The county now meets the CDC’s criteria for an area with a substantial or high prevalence of COVID-19. The CDC recommends that individuals in these areas—including those who are fully vaccinated—should wear face coverings in public indoor settings.Wearing face coverings helps fully vaccinated people further reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and transmitting it to others. It is also important to state that, while this is disappointing news, our overall COVID-19 prevalence remains one of the lowest in the country, and our vaccination rate is one of the highest in the country.
In conjunction with CDC and Vermont Department of Health guidance, we will review all face covering requirements on an ongoing basis in the coming weeks, and during the semester, if necessary.
Visitors are allowed on campus with departmental permission and for approved events or programs. Visitors must be vaccinated or have a valid medical or religious exemption. As outlined above, they must wear face coverings indoors as well.
Current Cases and the Dashboard
With the Delta variant now present throughout Vermont, we anticipated having more cases of COVID-19 on our campus. This week we have two active student cases of COVID-19. Both students are isolating. There are also two active employee cases, and both employees are recovering off campus. We will continue to manage and monitor these cases with the protocols we developed last year.
For current information on COVID-19 cases on campus, please see the COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard. We will continue to update the dashboard weekly throughout the fall semester. We will not make individual announcements regarding future cases unless the number of cases reaches a level high enough to require additional precautions.
The COVID-19 environment continues to evolve and requires that we all remain prepared to change or pivot at any time to maintain a healthy campus. As always, we will continue to monitor health conditions, adjust our policies as needed, and provide the community with new information.
We thank you very much for your flexibility and understanding as the Language Schools conclude their summer sessions and we prepare for a strong start to the new academic year.
Chief Health Officer and College Physician
Vice President for Student Affairs