COVID-19 has continued to evolve since it was first identified in the United States in 2019, and Middlebury has adapted its response accordingly. While we expect that COVID-19 will be with us for some time to come, we now are in more of an endemic state where we are able to maintain normal operations with in-person classes, events, and activities. We are practiced in how to protect our most vulnerable while providing a vibrant living, learning, and working environment in support of our academic mission. That means we will continue with some health and safety measures that we know are effective while monitoring the latest developments in the pandemic and advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Vermont Department of Health (VDH). As always, we will continue to be guided by science. We know from our experiences that we all must work together, remain flexible, and be ready to adjust at any time. If conditions change, additional health measures may be implemented to protect our community, but our plan is to maintain as normal operations as possible.
Predominant variants of COVID-19 now circulating are considered more transmissible but less severe than earlier strains, and we know that prior infections, vaccinations, and available treatments are effective in minimizing the worst outcomes of the virus. At the same time, strategies that were once cornerstones of our response––such as positive case counts, contact tracing, and surveillance testing––are considered less effective under current conditions. Our emphasis instead is on vaccinations, symptomatic testing, CDC and VDH community levels, isolation-in-place recovery strategies, and a mask-friendly/mask-optional policy that allows individuals and groups to best address their health situations and environments.
In addition to following CDC and VDH guidelines, a key part of our approach is to emphasize personal responsibility. Individuals should consider their own risks and the risks of those they spend time with as they decide what additional discretionary measures to continue.
Scientific research tells us that COVID-19 vaccination, including booster shots, will provide the best possible protection against COVID-19. This is critical for communities with shared living and dining spaces, such as colleges and universities. All students, employees, and visitors who will be on campus must be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, which currently means that they must have received all recommended doses in their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine and receive a booster shot, once eligible, or have an approved religious or medical exemption on file. See Middlebury’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.
This Campus Guide and the Campus Status page will serve as the primary source of information about current health measures and campus requirements, and we urge students and employees to reference it for the latest updates. We also will send updates via email as needed. Staying informed about campus health conditions, recommendations, and requirements is essential during this academic year.
Per CDC guidance, individuals have the option of receiving more than one booster dose as recommended by their healthcare provider, when eligible. Students with questions about additional booster doses may consult with Health Services. Employees should consult with their healthcare provider.
In-Room Recovery and Isolation
We continue to closely watch developments regarding COVID-19. It is possible that at times we will have a higher incidence of COVID-19 on our campus and in our community, and during those times, individuals who test positive will be expected to recover in their rooms or at home. This could include recovery with roommates who have not tested positive for COVID-19, with the assumption that these individuals already are close contacts who have been exposed. Some students may have the option to return home or recover elsewhere off campus if it is safe to do so.
The Campus Status web page will provide the Middlebury community with the most up-to-date information about current requirements on campus. The community will also be kept informed via email announcements and updates as needed.