Testing can be an important component of our multilayered strategy to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus, and international travelers and summer program participants who are not fully vaccinated will be tested as part of the arrival process. Middlebury implemented a COVID-19 testing program in 2020 in partnership with the Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Broad Institute. The testing program utilizes a COVID-19 viral test using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, which is characterized by rapid detection, high sensitivity, and specificity. We expect that once students, faculty, and staff working on campus are vaccinated, we will pause regular testing and resume it only if it becomes necessary. We also expect to offer optional testing at the conclusion of summer programs, including for those who require it for travel.

Following is the testing process: 

Collection of the sample is self-administered and involves placing a swab within the lower part of the nasal passages while being instructed by a medical observer. This type of sampling (anterior nasal swab) is much more comfortable than a nasopharyngeal swab, which was used in the first few months of the pandemic. This video of the student arrival testing center can help you understand the process. You can also take a video tour inside the Broad Institute, which handles our testing.

Results will be available approximately 36 hours after the test is administered. Students, faculty, or staff who are tested on campus will be informed as follows:

  • If the test result is negative, individuals will receive an email from CareEvolve@LKNotification.com with the subject “Lab results available from your provider—Confirm Registration” with instructions for how to access your results. Individuals expecting a result should always check their email spam or junk mail folders.
  • If the test result is positive, Health Services will contact the individual directly to notify them of the positive result and provide instructions. 
  • If the test result comes back as “insufficient sample,” Health Services will contact the individual to inform them that they need to be retested. An insufficient sample is not an indicator that the test result might be positive; it simply means that another sample is needed.

Students and employees will be required to give permission to Health Services to disclose the results of their tests and their compliance with the testing procedures—but no other health information—to public health authorities and relevant Middlebury offices. Except as otherwise permitted or required by law, Middlebury will not disclose an individual’s COVID-19 test results to their families, emergency contacts, or anyone else except to facilitate contact tracing, treatment, or infection control on campus, or for other public health purposes. Whenever possible, Middlebury will use test results without names or identifiers.

Middlebury’s COVID-19 testing program will be evaluated and adjusted as additional information becomes available. We will take into consideration the latest guidance from the Vermont Department of Health and the CDC Testing, Screening, and Outbreak Response for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) among other factors.

If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing and isolation procedures will be activated. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to protect their privacy and carefully consider to whom they disclose this information. Health Services must be notified; however, they will work with the Vermont Department of Health to provide confidential contact tracing. Contact tracers will notify those who were possibly exposed without identifying who they were exposed to in order to protect privacy. 

Middlebury staff and Counseling Services can provide confidential support to students in quarantine and isolation. Students may choose to share this information with individuals who may be able to support them during their isolation period and subsequent recovery. Students are also free to authorize Middlebury to share such information on their behalf for public health and student support purposes.

Required Prearrival Testing

All incoming students, faculty, and staff who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated must provide proof to Middlebury College of a negative PCR test taken within three days prior to arrival, or proof of COVID-19 infection in the preceding 90 days (i.e., a copy of a valid positive PCR test result). “Unvaccinated” refers to individuals who have not received their full dose of an approved COVID vaccine two weeks prior to arrival. 

International travelers, regardless of U.S. citizenship and/or vaccination status, will be required to show Middlebury College a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their flight to the United States. This may also be required by the airline per CDC guidance. Individuals who can provide a copy of an official lab test result (PCR test or antigen test only) within 90 days prior to the arrival date will not be required to do prearrival testing.

For Language Schools students, faculty, and staff, the negative PCR test for unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, and international travelers will be required at the arrival center.

Arrival Testing

Upon arriving or returning to campus, students and employees who are unvaccinated or who travel to campus from outside the United States or who receive a foreign-government-approved or EUA vaccine as described below must be tested in accordance with the following schedule. This is in addition to the prearrival testing requirement referenced above. “Unvaccinated” refers to individuals who have not received their full dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine two weeks prior to arrival.

Arrival Testing Requirements
Vaccinated Individuals*: Required for international travelers within 3 to 5 days of arrival.
Unvaccinated Individuals: Required upon arrival on Day 0, Day 3–5, and Day 7.

*Individuals with the following foreign-government-approved or EUA vaccines must also receive a Day 0 test on arrival:

  • Sinovac Sars-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated
  • Gamaleya Institute Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik V)
  • Novavax NVX-CoV2373
  • CanSinoBio Ad5-nCoV

The arrival web page describes arrival day procedures.

Testing Schedule 

Bilingual Assistants (Unvaccinated)Arrival Day June 17

  • Day 0 testing on June 17 (noon to 6 p.m.)
  • Day 4 testing on June 21 (noon to 8 p.m.)
  • Day 7 testing on June 24 (noon to 8 p.m.)

Bilingual Assistants (Vaccinated and Traveling from Outside the United States)—Arrival Day June 17

  • June 21 (noon to 8 p.m.) for arrival date of June 17

Individuals receiving a foreign-government-approved or EUA vaccine as described above must also receive a Day 0 test upon arrival.

Language Schools Faculty (Unvaccinated)—Arrival Day June 21

  • Day 0 testing on June 21 (noon to 8 p.m.)
  • Day 3 testing on June 24 (noon to 8 p.m.)
  • Day 7 testing on June 28 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Language Schools Faculty (Vaccinated and Traveling from Outside the United States)—Arrival Day June 21 or June 24

  • June 24 (noon to 8 p.m.) for arrival date of June 21, or
  • June 28 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) for arrival date of June 24

Individuals receiving a foreign-government-approved or EUA vaccine as described above must also receive a Day 0 test upon arrival. 

Language Schools Students (Unvaccinated)—Arrival Day June 24

  • Day 0 testing on June 24 (noon to 8 p.m.)
  • Day 4 testing on June 28 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Day 7 testing on July 1 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Language Schools Students (Vaccinated and Traveling from Outside the United States)—Arrival Day June 24

  • June 28 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Individuals receiving a foreign-government-approved or EUA vaccine as described above must also receive a Day 0 test upon arrival. 

Other Students Living or Working on Campus and Arriving on June 24 (Unvaccinated)

  • Day 0 testing on June 24 (noon to 8 p.m.)
  • Day 4 testing on June 28 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Day 7 testing on July 1 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 

Other Students Living or Working on Campus and Arriving on June 24 (Vaccinated and Traveling from Outside the United States)

  • Day 4 testing on June 28 (9 a.m to 4 p.m.)

Individuals receiving a foreign-government-approved or EUA vaccine must also receive a Day 0 test upon arrival. 

Individuals Who Have Had a Positive COVID-19 Test

Individuals living on campus this summer with laboratory-confirmed RT-PCR viral test positive must provide Health Services with an official copy of their test results and the date their symptoms (if any) started. This information will be reviewed by Health Services staff, which will notify them via their Middlebury email of a decision regarding whether further testing is warranted. Individuals meeting the CDC and VDH criteria will not be required to do arrival testing, or targeted dynamic testing, if testing dates fall within 90 days from illness onset or their positive test. Individuals will be expected to maintain all other COVID-19 mitigation measures. Detailed information for individuals who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 is available here

Symptom-Based Testing

When a student has symptoms that indicate a COVID-19 test should be performed, a viral test will be administered through Health Services, and the student will receive instructions to self-isolate until results are known. If a student receives a positive test result, Health Services will contact the student directly to notify them of the positive result and provide support and instructions for relocating to specific isolation housing.

If a faculty or staff member has symptoms that could be COVID-19, they should remain at home or at their on-campus residence and contact their healthcare provider for guidance. If the healthcare provider recommends the employee get tested for COVID-19, the healthcare provider will order a test and provide information on where to receive the test. The employee must remain home or at their on-campus residence until test results are received and they are cleared by their healthcare provider. If the healthcare provider does not recommend a test, the employee should follow their guidance as to when they may safely return to work.

If a faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they should consult with their healthcare provider and isolate in accordance with state of Vermont and CDC guidance. Faculty and staff living on campus should notify Health Services to determine whether they can isolate or quarantine in their campus housing or if they need to move to isolation or quarantine housing. The Vermont Department of Health will be notified and contact tracing will commence. They may not return to work on campus until they are cleared by the Vermont Department of Health and their healthcare provider.

Exposure-Related Testing

If a faculty member, staff member, or student is identified as a close contact of a positive case through contact tracing, the Vermont Department of Health and/or Health Services will determine the requirements for quarantining and monitoring for symptoms. Individuals identified as a close contact by the Vermont Department of Health contact tracing team should expect to quarantine for 14 days, or until they receive a negative Day 7 test result. This process is subject to change according to any CDC or health department procedure changes. Students, staff, or faculty living on campus will quarantine either in their rooms or in designated quarantine housing, as advised by Health Services. Students in quarantine will be supported by health, counseling, and residential life staff.

Employees who are not living on campus must quarantine at home following all Vermont Department of Health requirements.

Targeted Dynamic Testing

Decisions about how much dynamic testing, if any, is conducted—including how often and how many employees and students are tested—will be informed by the health conditions of Addison County and Vermont, as well as by campus health conditions.

During the summer, any dynamic testing will be scheduled by appointment. Individuals selected for testing will receive an email from COVIDTesting@middlebury.edu or will be notified by their supervisor. Scheduling information and instructions will be provided. Participation in targeted dynamic testing is mandatory, and those who fail to participate when directed to do so will be referred to the appropriate office or authority for a response. 

Individuals completing an approved COVID-19 vaccination series are expected to participate in targeted dynamic testing. The vaccine should not affect testing or results.

Targeted Dynamic Testing Categories

If Middlebury determines that targeted dynamic testing is warranted, the frequency with which an individual is tested will vary based on which testing category they are in, as well as on local health conditions and the campus situation. 

Peripheral Contacts
A peripheral contact is someone who has interacted with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 but has not been identified by the Vermont Department of Health as a close contact through contact tracing. Middlebury will identify peripheral contacts from positive cases on campus and prioritize testing of peripheral contacts through the dynamic testing program.

Examples of peripheral contacts include classmates and faculty from an in-person class, hallmates, suitemates, housemates, and/or coworkers of someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Positional Contacts
Individuals may fall into one of the testing categories listed below based on the type of work they perform. An employee’s COVID-19 risk level is based on position and/or job task and may change as an employee performs different tasks, moving from one exposure risk level to another.

Positional Contact 1:

  • Employees conducting high-risk activities, such as performing or being present for aerosol-generating activities (e.g., specimen collection, CPR) or individuals who require close contact with a COVID-19 patient.
  • Examples include Health Services staff in close contact with COVID-19 patients; Public Safety or Student Life staff if responding to an emergency in isolation housing where physical distancing is not possible and close contact with a COVID-19 patient is necessary.

Positional Contact 2:

  • Students who live on campus.
  • Employees performing medium-risk activities, such as working in public-facing locations where they have frequent contact with others. This includes working closely with coworkers, or interacting frequently with students in close-contact activities, such as athletics or performing arts or in some research environments.
  • Examples include staff in Health Services, Public Safety, employees working at retail locations or service desks; staff and faculty working closely with coworkers or having frequent interaction with students (such as Dining Services or Facilities Services, or faculty performing close-contact activities such as research activities).

Positional Contact 3:

  • Faculty and staff working on campus while maintaining physical distance from others and with other control measures in place (face coverings, engineering and administrative controls).
  • Most faculty and staff fall into this category. Control measures have been implemented following Vermont’s mandatory health and safety requirements and College Restart guidelines to reduce exposure risk for in-person work. Examples include employees whose work on campus does not require close contact (within six feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period) with others. 

Positional Contact 4:

  • Students, faculty, and staff who engage only in virtual learning, teaching, or working.
  • Examples include students studying remotely and not living on campus, faculty teaching remotely, and staff who are able to work remotely. Faculty and staff who stop into their offices only to pick up or drop off materials while wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance from others would be considered Positional Contact 4.