Please see below for a summary of information and resources that have been sent to students and families over the past few weeks in preparation for the fall semester. We recommend frequently checking two primary sources of information: the Orientation and Middlebury 2020–21 websites.
I’m writing with information about our new mandated health-screening mobile app called PolicyPath, which is available to download today. The state of Vermont requires health screenings prior to arrival as well as on a daily basis, and Middlebury requires all students living on campus—or commuting to classes from the surrounding area—to use this app every day. The app is part of the Student Health Pledge that every student must sign before starting the fall semester at Middlebury.
As we prepare for the reopening of our Vermont campus in August, I write to share some essential information about what students need to do to prepare and what they can expect when they arrive. While most of the information in this Weekly Update applies to students, it is important that our entire community understands some of the protocols and procedures we have in place for travel, testing, quarantine, and move-in.
We are writing to inform you that the Middlebury 2020-21 website, which provides detailed descriptions of our phased return to the Vermont campus, is now live. As we prepare to bring our community together again during this unusual time, we continue to monitor conditions across the nation and locally, and we will adjust the website’s content as needed. It is crucial that each and every member of our community be prepared for a very different fall semester and year ahead. This website will be an essential resource.
After careful consideration we have made the difficult decision to cancel all study abroad for the fall 2020 semester. This decision applies to the Middlebury Schools Abroad as well as study abroad on externally sponsored programs.
As I know you are aware, news reports of the past few days and weeks have underscored the significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, as cases continue to climb at a rapid pace throughout the United States, affecting people of all ages. While these spikes are particularly prevalent in populous states where restrictions were less stringent or eased more quickly than in Vermont, they are not limited to those areas. As a global community, Middlebury is not immune to these challenges, even on our rural campus in Vermont.
We are writing to provide some updates on our plans for reopening our campus this fall. This continuing work is the result of intensive efforts this summer to evaluate how we may resume on-campus activities to the greatest extent possible, as prudently as possible. As we continue to think about what work needs to be done and who needs to be present on campus, we are guided by our plans around the phased return of our students. As we communicated in our June 22 letter, our phased reopening will begin with a campus quarantine period, where students return, are tested, and then stay in quarantine while awaiting their test results. (Detailed FAQs can be found here.) Campus quarantine will be a crucial component of our success in creating the safest living and working environment possible as well our efforts to maintain a low density and “limited-contact environment.”
I write with a brief update before the weekend, following up on the June 22 announcement about Middlebury’s plans for the fall semester. This is the first of the weekly updates we will be sending you throughout the summer to keep you informed of our progress.