Each of our individual behaviors directly impacts not only our own health but also the health of those around us. These required individual actions protect ourselves and those around us:

  • Daily Health Screenings
  • Face Coverings
  • Physical Distancing
  • Hand Hygiene

Daily Health Screenings

Students: Use the PolicyPath app, using these instructions.

Employees: Use this Qualtrics online survey.

All students, faculty and staff must complete a daily health check (also referred to as a “daily health screening”) prior to interacting with anyone on the campus, including going to class or work, going to a dining hall, or participating in any campus activity. This daily health check requires individuals to verify that they have no symptoms of COVID-19,they have not been in close contact with an individual who is positive for COVID-19, and they have not tested positive for COVID-19.

Faculty and staff who experience any symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19, have tested positive for COVID-19, or believe they have been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19 should not come to campus. They should contact their supervisors or department managers. If they are at work when symptoms begin, they should leave immediately and contact their healthcare providers if medical guidance is needed.

Students are required to bring personal thermometers with them to campus so they can check their temperatures daily. Students who experience any symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19, believe they have been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, or have tested positive for COVID-19 should not come to campus. If already on campus, such students should remain in their residences and call the Center for Health and Wellness (CHW) for further evaluation. CHW staff may assign the student to isolation, require testing, require contact tracing, and/or ask the student to self-quarantine to avoid exposing others while waiting to see if symptoms of COVID-19 develop. Isolation and self-quarantine protocols are described in greater detail in a later section.

Face Coverings

Face coverings must be worn by all faculty, staff, students, and visitors when on campus in both indoor and outdoor locations with few exceptions. The exceptions include the following:

  • Any individual while in a private space
  • After all residents of a room/suite/house have received a second (day seven) negative test; students who are in their own residence hall room/suite/house with only residents present
  • Students who are in their own residence bathroom performing personal grooming
  • Any individual eating in an appropriately physically distanced location from others
  • An individual exercising alone outdoors

Face coverings should always be carried on the person in the event circumstances warrant their use.

Face coverings must completely cover the nose and mouth and fit securely and snugly against the sides of the face and extend from below the chin to above the nose.

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to provide face coverings of their choosing. Middlebury will provide two cloth face coverings to each student, faculty member, and staff member and will make additional face coverings available for those who cannot provide their own. These will also be for sale at the bookstore and MiddXpress. Individuals are expected to launder and care for their own face coverings. If single-day-use masks are used, they must be disposed of responsibly. Instructions on use of and care for face coverings is available from the CDC. Masks with one-way valves will not be allowed on campus, as these masks do not effectively protect others from the individual wearing the mask. 

There is a growing scientific consensus around the essential nature of cloth face coverings in minimizing the spread of the virus. They are a critical safety measure, and individuals who cannot wear cloth face coverings are encouraged to choose to study remotely for the fall term.

Face Coverings in Student Residential Spaces

Students who live on campus must wear face coverings in all residential areas outside their bedrooms, including bathrooms, lounges, hallways, and all other common spaces in the residence hall. Rules on face coverings will be adjusted, if possible, depending on health conditions. During campus quarantine, the only spaces in the residence hall where a student can be without their mask are in their bedroom—and only if the student is alone or the only person present in the bedroom is the student’s assigned roommate—and in the bathroom while doing personal grooming that is not possible with a mask on (e.g., showering, brushing teeth, washing face, etc.). Students should stay six feet apart from others while their masks are removed for this purpose.

The same restrictions apply to students living off campus. After successfully completing the campus quarantine phase, students who live off campus must wear their masks outside their residence.

During stabilizing (Phase Two) and sustaining (Phase Three), students must wear their face covering outside their residence room/suite/house.


When individuals remove their face coverings to eat, they should maintain adequate physical distance from others (a minimum of six feet). This is an important requirement for all students during campus quarantine (Phase One). If health conditions and Vermont guidance allow the campus to move out into subsequent phases, physical distancing requirements may be relaxed to allow students to eat with other students (for example, those they live with or those they are involved with for approved activities such as team sports). A contact tracing journal must be maintained on a daily basis to identify the individual’s close contacts during any campus activity (close contact is defined as closer than six feet for at least 15 minutes).

Staff and faculty must always maintain physical distance from others while eating, unless they are with someone from their own household.

Alternative Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Specific work tasks may require faculty, staff, or students to wear personal protective equipment, such as a dust mask, disposable medical mask, N95 respirator, or other respiratory protection. Examples include Facilities Services staff who perform a dust-generating activity, individuals trained to wear a half face respirator when working with chemicals, or individuals who work in laboratory settings. Faculty, staff, and students who perform this type of work will change out of a face covering into the appropriate PPE prior to performing the task.

The ability to wear face coverings in a variety of settings (indoor and outdoor) and temperatures (hot and cold) and for extended periods of time will be an essential requirement for faculty, staff, and students who will be on campus. If a faculty member, staff member, or student has a disability or medical condition that requires accommodations for a specific type of mask or face covering, they should consult the Disability Resource Center (students) or Human Resources (faculty and staff).

Physical Distancing

One of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus is to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from others. Because the virus mainly spreads among people who are in close contact, and people can spread the virus before knowing they are sick, it is important to maintain physical distance from others, even if there are no symptoms.

Our campus community thrives on social interactions, so practicing physical distancing will be a significant change to how we live, work, and study together. Although the 2020–21 Middlebury experience will be unlike anything we’ve come to know, we can still have lasting and social interactions in a safe way.

Students, faculty, and staff must observe physical distancing. 

  • In Phase One of reopening, which we refer to as campus quarantine, strict physical distancing applies to all faculty, staff, and students and must be maintained. The only exception to physical distancing is for staff who must perform necessary work tasks with another staff member and the activity is approved by a supervisor.
  • If health conditions allow us to move out of Phase One and into subsequent phases, students may, depending on Vermont guidance, be able to relax physical distancing with those they live with or those they are involved with for approved activities. Students must maintain a list of close contacts (any person closer than six feet for at least 15 minutes), in the event that a positive COVID-19 case is identified that requires contact tracing.

When you arrive back on campus this fall, you will notice many changes.

  • All campus spaces (classrooms, break rooms, labs, event spaces, common spaces, lounges) will be adjusted and rearranged to allow for physical distancing. An adjusted COVID-19 Safety Max Occupancy will be posted at each space and must be strictly adhered to.
  • High-traffic buildings or areas with narrow spaces that make it difficult to maintain physical distance may have established ingress and egress points. Signs will direct you to the new traffic patterns, so pay close attention and adhere to these changes. Signs and floor markings will be visible in many locations throughout campus that instruct physical distancing and other safety measures.

Physical Distancing in Residential Buildings

Living together in a residence hall during a pandemic requires a community approach. Students must respect each other’s personal space and maintain physical distance from others, especially in common spaces throughout buildings. Adjusted COVID-19 maximum occupancies will be posted and must be adhered to. During Phase One of our campus reopening, social gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed in locations other than residence rooms/suites/houses, but only in spaces where strict physical distancing can be maintained. Students may only host others (limited to students living on campus or in approved off-campus housing and enrolled as in-person learners) in their residential spaces if physical distance can be maintained.

After the campus quarantine phase, gatherings in residence hall rooms/suites/houses are limited to gatherings consistent with the physical distance requirements and requirements for face coverings. If spaces are not conducive to appropriate physical distance, gatherings must be held elsewhere.

Students living off campus are subject to the same rules.

College staff, including those in Custodial Services, Residential Life, and Public Safety, may need to enter residential buildings to provide services and student support. It is critical that physical distancing is maintained and face coverings are worn in order to protect staff from possible exposure.

Physical Distancing in Classrooms and at Events

Students and faculty must maintain a physical distance of six feet from each other during in-person instruction, and classroom capacities have been reduced to accommodate that distancing. Interactions between faculty and students may occur with precautions in place in order to reduce opportunities for exposure.

Although events will be different than what we are used to, organized campus events and casual social gatherings among friends will occur on campus this fall. Gathering sizes will be dictated by which phase the campus is operating under. All gatherings and events, regardless of size, must ensure physical distancing is adhered to.

All campus spaces, including common spaces and lounges, will be adjusted and rearranged to reduce density and allow for physical distancing. A COVID-19 Safety Max Occupancy will be posted at each space. Any changes to the furniture or capacity of a space requires advance approval from the Event Management team. For health and safety reasons, the adjusted occupancy and layout must be adhered to for all activities held in the space.

Finally, all physical distancing requirements, regardless of the designated phase, must adhere to state of Vermont guidelines.

Hand Hygiene


Students, faculty, and staff should frequently and thoroughly maintain hygiene by washing their hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially when entering a new area, after being in a public place, or after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching their face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Hand sanitizer will be placed around campus in strategic locations, but students are advised to bring a personal supply when returning to Middlebury for the fall semester. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and do not touch any personal items (keys, cell phone, etc.) or eat with unwashed hands.


Gloves are not necessary for general use in the COVID-19 pandemic and do not replace frequent and thorough handwashing. Gloves and other personal protective equipment may be required in certain labs or other work areas.

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene

Individuals should always cover their mouth and nose with tissues when they cough or sneeze or use the inside of their elbow. All tissues should be thrown in the trash. Immediately wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.