As we prepare to welcome students back to Middlebury this fall, it’s important to acknowledge that the coming year on campus will look much different than at any time in our history, from classes to dining to residential life.

Middlebury faculty and staff have been working hard to be able to offer an experience that upholds educational opportunity while maximizing the health and safety of the entire Middlebury community.

This section of the Return to Campus Guide provides details on many important aspects of your life on campus. Please read through the information and come back to this guide as needed for reference.

Arrival Procedures for Students

In order to give us the greatest possible chance of starting the semester with a healthy campus, students who are sick, symptomatic, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 are not permitted to return to campus. All students returning to campus this fall must complete a prearrival quarantine at home for 14 days prior to returning to campus. Per CDC guidance, quarantine means that individuals must stay home, separate themselves from others, wear cloth face coverings, maintain physical distancing if interaction with others is unavoidable, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

All students living on campus and off campus, regardless of what location they are coming from and regardless of their mode of travel back to campus, are required to complete the prearrival quarantine. Students who are not able to complete the 14-day prearrival quarantine will be required to quarantine in their dorm rooms on campus (or off-campus residences) until they receive a second negative day-seven COVID-19 test result.

Students are divided into three groups and have a staggered arrival schedule. Please note that while we have every intention of keeping with this schedule, the public health situation is constantly evolving. If you are purchasing airline, bus, or train tickets, we recommend that you consider travel insurance or changeable tickets, if possible.

Staggered Arrival Schedule 

Group Start Prearrival Quarantine at Home Arrive on Campus
Residential life staff, peer health educators, orientation leaders, First@Midd peer leaders, ISSS PALS, and SGA leadership August 4 August 18
All incoming new students, all international students not serving in any of the group-one leadership roles, and fall athletes August 12 August 26
All other students August 14 August 28

Precautions to Take When Traveling to Campus

At the end of the 14-day prearrival quarantine, students may return to campus only if they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, have not been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, have not tested positive for COVID-19, and have completed the required daily health screenings/questionnaire using an app or other software tool provided by the College. We are piloting an app that can be downloaded onto a phone and will be used for the daily health check. More information about this technology will be provided closer to students’ arrival on campus. Students are required to bring personal thermometers with them to campus so they can check their temperatures daily.

Students traveling to Vermont in a private vehicle should do so without making prolonged stops (avoid gatherings such as in restaurants, limit gas stops, and, if overnight travel is required, reduce social contacts as much as possible). During any stops, practice physical distancing from any individuals not in your immediate household, wear a face covering, and practice proper hand hygiene.

Students traveling to Vermont with people from multiple households, carpooling, or traveling via bus, rail, or commercial airlines should follow precautions during travel including physical distancing (when possible) from any individuals not in their immediate household, wearing a face covering, and practicing proper hand hygiene.

Prior to Arriving on Campus

Students must log into BannerWeb to update their emergency contact information and personal evacuation plan, both located in the Personal Information tab. Incoming new students can enter this information via the prearrival checklist process shared by the orientation team.

Arriving on Campus

Students will be assigned an arrival time. When arriving on campus, students will make their first stop at the COVID-19 Testing Center in Virtue Field House at the Peterson Family Athletics Complex. Instructions will be sent to students over the summer with more details about what to expect at the testing center. Face coverings and physical distancing will be required as soon as you arrive on campus. 

Middlebury is implementing a robust testing program in partnership with the Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Broad Institute. Each student will receive a COVID-19 viral test upon arrival (day zero) and again on day seven. The test that will be used is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, which is characterized by rapid detection, high sensitivity, and specificity. At the testing center, the student will be instructed by a medical observer to move their face covering in order to self-administer a nasal swab (anterior nares specimen).

After testing, students will be checked in and proceed to their residential building or to their off-campus residence, as applicable. Students are encouraged to have only one guest to help with move-in but may have two guests with them if necessary for driving long distances. The guests must meet state of Vermont travel restrictions. Due to health and safety restrictions, guests will not be allowed to enter residential buildings.

Room Quarantine

To better understand the definitions of some of the terms used below, please reference our Quarantine Definitions page.

After the arrival testing, students will move into their rooms and remain there until the Day 0 test results are back. Meals will be delivered to dorms during this time period. Off-campus students will need to bring food or arrange safe food delivery for their meals until the end of the room and campus quarantine phases. Virtual training and orientation activities are being planned for students during this time. Medical, emotional, and residential life team support will always be available to all students.

For students who are able to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming to campus (assuming that they have not been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, have not tested positive for COVID-19, and have completed the required daily health screenings/questionnaire during the 14-day period), we expect that the room quarantine will end as soon as the day-zero results are back—within 24 hours is expected. Should there be a delay in testing results, quarantine will take longer. Students who are unable to meet the 14-day prearrival quarantine period will be required to remain in room quarantine until after their second day-seven test results have been returned and are negative.

Meals will be delivered to dorms during the room quarantine period. Students will be able to leave their rooms to use the bathroom or grab a meal from the dorm delivery point. Off-campus students will need to bring food or arrange safe food delivery for their meals until the end of the campus quarantine phase. It is critical that during this room quarantine phase and campus quarantine phase that all protocols for physical distancing, use of face coverings, and hand hygiene are followed.

Any students enrolled to study on campus with positive tests, regardless of whether they live on campus or off campus, will be relocated to specific isolation housing with ongoing medical, emotional, dining, and residential life team support. Contact tracing and subsequent testing of individuals identified as a contact will be managed by the Vermont Department of Health.

Campus Quarantine (Phase One)

Once we have the first set of results, students with a negative result from the day-zero test who were able to complete the 14-day prearrival quarantine before coming to campus will be released to campus quarantine, meaning they can leave their rooms and interact on campus. The guiding principles for health and safety (described in the next sections) are critical components of daily life and how we will protect all members of the campus community during this phase. Students will be scheduled to return to the Testing Center on day seven for a second COVID-19 viral test.

Students will be required to stay on the Middlebury College campus. Students living in off-campus housing will be asked to stay in their houses and only travel directly to and from campus. Trips to town, trails, lakes, and other locations will be prohibited during the campus quarantine period. Local merchants will be encouraged to deliver goods to campus. Use of personal vehicles will be prohibited except for students living in off-campus housing who are enrolled to study on campus and need to travel to and from campus for activities. Gatherings at off-campus housing will be prohibited.

Campus quarantine is expected to continue for several weeks and until after classes have started. The campus community will be informed about when we expect to advance to Phase Two.