We continue to follow Vermont Department of Health guidelines for contact tracing of students and employees. As such, we ask that students and employees help keep our community members safe by informing their close contacts themselves, which is the current practice in the state of Vermont.
We ask that you identify and notify individuals with whom you have been in close contact during your infectious period. “Close contact means being within 6 feet, for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, of someone with COVID-19 while they are contagious. You can be contagious two days before your symptoms began and until you are recovered. For people who haven’t had symptoms, you may be contagious two days before you have a positive test.” Please reach out to your close contacts to notify them of the potential exposure.
For information about what to do if you are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, see Instructions for Those Exposed, Symptomatic or Who Have Tested Positive for COVID-19.
Contacts of Contacts
Sometimes, individuals who know a person with COVID-19 may wonder if they are at risk for developing the illness. Examples include friends of close contacts of the infected person or coworkers of an individual who has a family member at home diagnosed with COVID-19. In most cases these people are considered a contact of a contact and are not considered to be at risk for developing illness. Contacts of contacts are therefore ordinarily not required to test unless they are in direct contact with someone who tests positive. For further information, see Instructions for Those Exposed, Symptomatic or Who Have Tested Positive for COVID-19.
Isolation or In-Room Recovery and Quarantine
Isolation, In-Room Recovery, or Recovery Off-Campus
Isolation is for people who, regardless of vaccination status, test positive for COVID-19 or are diagnosed with COVID-19 and need to be separated from others to avoid infecting them. Given the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, there is a strong probability that separate isolation housing will not be available for all students who test positive for COVID-19. This means that, although we will have isolation housing set aside, we expect that those spaces will be utilized quickly. As such, students who are safely able to do so will likely be required to return home or to another safe place to recover, or to recover in their rooms. This could include recovery with roommates who have not yet tested positive for COVID-19, with the assumption that these individuals already are close contacts who have been exposed.
For students who test positive, mental health support is available while students are recovering through Counseling Services and 24/7 through MiddTelehealth. Medical support is also available through and Health Services and 24/7 through MiddTelehealth. Student Life staff will be available to support students as well.
Depending on the number of students assigned to isolation housing or in-room recovery, meals may be provided at the dining halls by grab-and-go rather than delivery. Students who feel well enough to do so should contact their faculty members to develop a plan for participating in coursework and other activities virtually, if those options are available. Students recovering from COVID-19 in their rooms or in separate isolation housing are not permitted to have visitors.
During the recovery period, students remaining on campus (including Bread Loaf and other locations where housing is provided by the College) must stay in their assigned isolation room or their residence room, as applicable, and may not leave except to use the bathroom or pick up a meal. They must wear well-fitted face coverings when leaving their rooms to pick up a meal or to use the bathroom. Students living off campus must follow the same protocols and isolate in their residences.
In accordance with CDC and Vermont Department of Health guidance, isolation, in-room recovery, or recovery at home or another off-campus location will normally last 5 full days, ending on Day 6 (Day 0 being the date someone took the COVID-19 test that came back positive or when symptoms began, whichever occurs first). However, some individuals may require additional time for recovery, depending on the course of their symptoms. Students and employees must remain in isolation (or in-room recovery or recovery at home, as applicable) until they meet the criteria below:
5 days have passed (Day 6) since their COVID-19 symptoms first appeared (or since they took the test that came back positive for COVID-19 without symptoms), and:
- They never had symptoms or their symptoms have improved and they feel better.
- They have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers.
Students and employees must also meet other criteria in order to return to campus. See Instructions for Students who Test positive for COVID-19, Regardless of Vaccination Status and Instructions for Employees who Test positive for COVID-19, Regardless of Vaccination Status.
In-room or home quarantine is required for symptomatic individuals who are waiting for their COVID-19 test results. For detailed information, see Instructions for Those Exposed, Symptomatic or Who Have Tested Positive for COVID-19.
During quarantine, individuals living on campus must remain in their assigned quarantine room and may not leave except to use the bathroom or pick up a meal from the dining hall. They must wear well-fitted face coverings when leaving their rooms to pick up a meal or to use the bathroom.