Phase 2: What Is Allowed (Updated Monday, October 5)

Below is a summary of the activities that are permitted in Phase 2. Please note that this is a summary only and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all Phase 2 requirements. Full and complete information as to the details on what is allowed in Phase 2 are found in the Return to Campus Guide Appendix A and in the Announcements section of our Fall 2020 website. We will “slowly open the spigot” for activity following the model of Vermont’s successful approach to reopening. Students and employees are responsible for compliance with the full text of those guidelines.

All activities must be done with face coverings and physical distancing (except where noted). 

  • Patronize local restaurants, shops, and businesses in Addison County, provided they follow both Vermont and College guidelines and the restrictions imposed by the businesses.
  • Participate in outdoor recreational activities in Addison County where state and College guidelines must be followed—including walking, jogging, hiking, bicycling, and golfing (with scheduled tee times at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course, at no charge). Recreational indoor and outdoor activities are limited to 10 people at this time.
  • NEW: Overnight outdoor camping within Addison County is permitted with face coverings, physical distancing, and a maximum group gathering size of 10. Indoor off-campus overnight stays continue to present a significant risk to campus health and safety and are not allowed at this time.
  • NEW: Visiting off-campus residences will be permitted under the following conditions: 
    • All individuals present are enrolled as on-campus learners or have met either the College student arrival guidelines (14-day pre-arrival quarantine and a day 0 and a day 7 negative test) or the Vermont cross-state travel quarantine rules
    • No one present has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days. 
    • No one present is or has been sick or has had any COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days and has not had any close contact in the last 14 days with someone suspected of having or known to have COVID-19. 
    • Maximum group gathering size of 10 people, including residents of the household. 
    • As a reminder, students who are enrolled as fully remote learners or who are on a leave of absence are considered visitors and are not permitted on campus.
  • NEW: Students may visit off-campus with family and other individuals (hereinafter referred to as “visitors”) only if the following conditions are met: 
    • All visitors have met either the College student arrival guidelines (14-day pre-arrival quarantine and a day 0 and a day 7 negative test) or the Vermont cross-state travel quarantine rules. 
    • No one present has tested positive for COVID 19 within the past 14 days. 
    • No one present during the visit is or has been sick or has had any COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days and has not had any close contact in the last 14 days with someone suspected of having or known to have COVID-19. 
    • Maximum group gathering size of 10 people, including residents of any household where the visit takes place.
  • UPDATED: Gather in groups of no more than 10 people, including residents of residential spaces, or to the maximum capacity of the space (whichever is fewer). This applies to all gatherings—indoors or outdoors, on or off campus. Maximum occupancy in residential spaces including residence hall rooms, suites, and townhouses is according to the “N+2” rule, where N is the number of beds in the space. Due to their large size, Atwater suites are the exception, with maximum occupancy of N+3. 
  • Participate in organized indoor gatherings with no more than 50 people, only after being approved in advance by Event Management.
  • Participate in organized outdoor activities with no more than 75 people, only after being approved in advance by Event Management.
  • NEW: Face coverings may be removed when engaging in outdoor athletic activity provided a minimum six-foot distancing is maintained. For example, biking, running, or singles tennis.  Masks remain required for any activity in which six-foot distancing cannot be maintained. If in doubt, wear a mask. Face coverings should still always be carried on the person in the event that circumstances warrant their use.
  • NEW: Coach- or staff-supervised, non-touch outdoor athletic activity within six feet while wearing masks is permitted. If inadvertent physical contact is occurring the activity should be stopped or modified. 
  • Guidelines for supervised athletic practices will be determined by the Athletics Department. These practices, unlike impromptu games, are planned and supervised, with mitigation measures enforced by on-site coaching staff. The same goes for artistic performances, where guidelines will be determined by our arts faculty in collaboration with our health and safety officials.
  • NEW: College-sponsored, group activities off-campus require approval using this online form for approval requests.  Student organizations, athletic teams, and individual students need to fill out this form when planning to use College funding or resources for travel or organizing an activity as part of a College entity (student organization or athletic team). You do not need to fill out this form if you are traveling for personal reasons such as going on a hike with a small group of friends or running errands for your organization.

Critical Actions for a Successful Phase 2

  • Conduct your daily health check. Stay in your room if you are sick or if you were in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19. 
  • Wear a face covering. This is required indoors and outdoors with very few exceptions (such as eating or exercising outdoors with physical distancing).
  • Maintain physical distancing from others. Exposure risk goes up when you are in close contact with another person, which is when you are within six feet for more than 15 minutes or if you have direct physical contact with someone. You should maintain as few close contacts as possible (four or fewer) and keep a list of your close contacts each day. This will make contact tracing easier should you test positive for COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands frequently. If access to soap and water is not possible, travel with hand sanitizer.
  • Socialize in small groups (10 or fewer people) and outdoors as much as possible. 

FAQ for Phase 2

A

We’ve learned a great deal about the effectiveness of face coverings and other health measures since the Student Health Pledge was written in early July. Our Phase 2 guidance reflects these lessons as we continue to prioritize community health and safety. As we learn more about effective mitigation strategies, Middlebury may adopt rules that are different or more stringent than what was initially in the Student Health Pledge. Students should plan to follow the most recent guidance they’ve received via email, online courses, and the Appendix in the Return to Campus guide. College staff strive to update the many places guidance lives in a timely and concurrent manner. As we state in our COVID-19 Conduct Policy and Disciplinary Process, “[t]he provisions of this policy may change depending on health conditions and state of Vermont mandates. Students, staff and faculty should consult this website for updates.”

Wearing a face covering is one of the most important public health measures that helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Face coverings are required except in the following circumstances:

  • When alone in a private space.
  • When alone with your roommate, in a dorm room or bedroom in an off-campus residence (assuming all occupants have received a second negative COVID-19 test on day 7 after arrival).
  • When in the bathroom grooming.
  • When eating in an appropriately physically distanced location.
  • When exercising outside alone.
  • Additionally, on October 5 face coverings may be removed when engaged in outdoor athletic activity provided a minimum six-foot distancing is maintained. For example, biking, running, or singles tennis. Face coverings remain required for any activity in which six-foot distancing cannot be maintained. If in doubt, wear a face covering. Face coverings should still always be carried on the person in the event that circumstances warrant their use.

As mentioned in the recently released Phase 2 guidance, students must keep close contacts to four or fewer people. If your living mates are not among this small circle of close contacts, students should keep face coverings on in your shared residential spaces. Limiting your number of close contacts has a direct impact on your and our community’s level of exposure.

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A close contact is defined by the CDC and Vermont Department of Health as someone you were within 6 feet of, for at least 15 minutes, or someone you had direct physical contact with.  If you test positive for COVID-19, your close contacts may have been exposed to the virus, which means they have a greater chance of getting it themselves, and then of spreading it to others.

Close contacts refer to people with whom students choose to be physically close. Examples might include best or closest friends, romantic or intimate partners, roommates, or others that someone chooses to have open, on-going conversations about risk and exposure with. Roommates, suitemates, and housemates are not automatically considered close contacts. Close contacts may change over time as students begin or shift relationships and additional communication about exposure and boundaries will be required. Middlebury recognizes the role that close contacts can play in supporting physical, mental, social, and emotional health as well as the risks and exposure level associated with them. Limiting your number of close contacts has a direct impact on your and our community’s level of exposure.

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The Vermont College Restart Plan was first published on July 6 to provide a minimum standard for safety.  The plan acknowledges that each institution is unique and encourages institutions to exceed the baseline recommendations.  Since we began living with the pandemic, Middlebury has maintained health and safety guidelines more stringent than the state of Vermont’s as have many towns, businesses, and institutions.  As colleges and universities across the country have opened, many have experienced outbreaks, reverted to remote instruction and sent students home. By taking a more stringent approach, Middlebury is working to give our in-person semester the best chance at success, protect our rural county’s healthcare resources, and avoid, as best we can, moving back and forth between opening and tightening our restrictions which we know contributes to confusion and uneven adoption of the protective behaviors that are proven to mitigate exposure to and transmission of COVID-19. Middlebury also acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a one-semester or one-year impact in our local and global community. Exceeding the safety expectations set by the state allows us to prioritize the health and safety of our students, employees, and the wider community with a focus on on-going and sustainable strategies and plans for the coming year and beyond.

On Friday, October 2, representatives from Vermont colleges and the Health Department participated in a webinar sharing how they’ve worked together to prepare for and respond to COVID-19 on campus.

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We understand that students may wish to see friends or family members now that we are in Phase 2. We must prioritize keeping our campus healthy throughout the fall semester and ask that friends and family carefully consider any travel into Addison County. All visitors to Addison County are subject to Vermont’s cross-state travel requirements.  This information is updated every Tuesday so it is important to verify that visitors are able to travel into Vermont without a quarantine requirement.  If friends or family are able to travel into Addison County, you may only visit with them if the following requirements are met: 

  • All visitors have met either the College student arrival guidelines (14-day pre-arrival quarantine and day 0 and day 7 negative tests) or the Vermont cross-state travel quarantine rules. 

  • No one present has tested positive for COVID 19 within the past 14 days. 

  • No one present during the visit is or has been sick or has had any COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days and has not had any close contact in the last 14 days with someone suspected of having or known to have COVID-19. 

  • Maximum group gathering size of 10 people, including residents of any household where the visit takes place. 

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We understand that students may wish to have family members or friends drop off personal belongings or other items to them now that we are in Phase 2. We must prioritize keeping our campus healthy throughout the fall semester and ask that friends and family carefully consider any travel into Addison County. Consider having items shipped or ask yourself whether it is something that is truly needed during the fall semester.

All visitors to Addison County are subject to Vermont’s cross-state travel requirements.  This information is updated every Tuesday so it is important to verify that visitors are able to travel into Vermont without a quarantine requirement.  If friends or family are able to travel into Addison County, you should only visit with them if everyone is free of any COVID-19 symptoms and have not had any close contact in the last 14 days with someone suspected of having or known to have COVID-19.

Although we are not allowing visitors on campus, there is a drop off location at the edge of campus (at 75 Shannon Street) where we have set up a location to allow outside businesses and others to meet students for a touch free transfer.  There is a tent set up marked for deliveries that can be used.  Students who visit with family members or friends must use strict precautions - wear face coverings, maintain strict physical distancing (no hugging, sorry!), use good hand hygiene, and spend time together outdoors whenever possible. 

We appreciate your support of Middlebury’s requirements which are designed to reduce the risk of introducing infection to our campus.

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It is important to carefully consider any travel in vehicles to reduce the risk of exposure for you and others. If travel in vehicles is not necessary, it is best to avoid it. However, short trips can be done while reducing risk of exposure. Here are some important precautions if traveling by personal vehicle:

  • Trips with multiple passengers should be less than 15 minutes whenever possible and all vehicle occupants must wear face coverings.
  • You should know all passengers in the vehicle whenever possible.
  • With more than one person in the car, windows must be down at least two inches for air flow, though as much as possible is recommended. 
  • Reduce capacity in vehicles whenever possible, even for short trips.  No direct contact between passengers and do not exceed the number of seat belts.  

Longer trips without a face covering are permissible if the driver is the only person in the car. 

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Off-campus College-sponsored group activities such as community service or other student organization-related activities are possible and require prior approval. To make this easier, we have created an online form for approval requests. Students need to fill out this form if:

  • Planning to use College funding or resources for your travel,
  • Organizing an activity as part of a College entity (for example a student organization or athletic team). 

Examples of when this form is needed include:

  • When student organizations are planning events off-campus.
  • When an athletic team plans to volunteer off-campus.

Examples of when the form is not needed include:

  • Running errands in town such as picking up groceries. 
  • Running errands for your organization, such as picking up individually wrapped snacks or supplies for an event at a local store.
  • Going for an informal hike with a few friends.
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  • Travel needs to remain within Addison County.
  • Wear a face covering and maintain physical distancing from others.
  • If visiting off-campus residences or other locations in Addison County, the following conditions must be met: 
    • All present are enrolled as on-campus learners or have met either the College student arrival guidelines (14-day pre-arrival quarantine and day 0 and day 7 negative tests) or the Vermont cross-state travel quarantine rules. 

    • No one present has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days. 

    • No one present is or has been sick or has had any COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days and has not had any close contact in the last 14 days with someone suspected of having or known to have COVID-19 

    • The group size is 10 or less (including household residents, if at an off-campus residence). 

    • Hand hygiene is available at the location. Travel with hand sanitizer. 

    • Overnight outdoor camping in Addison County is permitted with group size limited to 10 or less, with precautions in place (face coverings and physical distancing).