The careful preparations you made to arrive on campus this fall, including undergoing a 14-day prearrival quarantine and traveling to campus with precautions, enabled us to begin the semester with a healthy campus. As the in-person portion of the fall semester ends, the same careful preparations are needed to ensure a safe and healthy departure from campus.
COVID-19 Health and Safety Campus Departure Checklist:
- I am symptom-free.
- I have not tested positive or knowingly been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- I have face coverings and plan to use them.
- I am aware of any travel quarantine requirements for my destination state or country.
- I have a travel plan that will reduce my exposure to infection during travel and the possibility of exposure to others as much as possible.
- I am aware of the COVID-19 situation in the place I am traveling to, including the presence of any high-risk individuals, and have a plan to help reduce my risk of either catching or spreading COVID-19.
- I received a flu shot (unless I had a medical or religious exemption).
- I completed my End of Semester Fall 2020 course through SafeColleges.
- I am aware of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance regarding holiday celebrations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDC recommends that anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person. Prior to departing campus, any students exposed to COVID-19 will be asked to quarantine on campus either for 14 days after their exposure or until a Day 7 test is negative. Students diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to remain in isolation until cleared by medical staff, typically 10 days or longer.
As part of our pre-departure protocols, we will offer testing for all students on Monday, November 16, and Tuesday, November 17, from 9:15 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the testing center at Virtue Field House. Students will receive an email from COVIDTesting@middlebury.edu with a link to sign up for a testing appointment. Please take note of the following:
- A negative test does not mean you will remain negative at any point after that test.
- A negative test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or that the sample was collected too early in an infection.
- You could be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and become infected and spread the virus to others.
- Even with a negative test, you should take steps to protect yourself and others. Follow the important precautions of monitoring for symptoms, wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing, washing hands frequently, and avoiding gathering with others when these precautions are not followed.
Travel to Destinations Requiring a Negative COVID-19 Test
Students who are traveling to a location that requires a COVID-19 test, such as an international or domestic location that requires proof of a negative test within 72 hours of a flight, will be able to register for a testing appointment at Middlebury’s testing center using this student Request for Departure COVID-19 Testing form.
Important note for travelers to China: The COVID-19 testing available at Middlebury’s testing center is an RT-PCR test offered through Broad Institute. The required IgM antibody test is not available at this time through UVM Medical Center or Porter Medical Center. While health officials are trying to secure a reliable IgM test with rapid turnaround to offer in Vermont, this remains a work in progress. Students should contact International Student and Scholar Services to discuss individual plans.
The recent New York State Executive Order regarding quarantine restrictions for travelers arriving in New York says, “All travelers entering New York from a state which is not a contiguous state shall quarantine for a period of 14 days consistent with Department of Health regulations for quarantine …” Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory. Vermont is contiguous with New York, and thus students traveling there from Vermont would not need to quarantine.
Preparing to Visit High-Risk Individuals
If you are traveling to a location where high-risk individuals reside, you should not rely on a negative exit test to ensure you will not expose others. Remember that testing reflects only a point in time and is not prevention. A negative test can provide a false sense of security.
Because symptoms may start between two and 14 days after exposure to the virus, it is important that you follow prevention measures carefully in the two weeks leading up to your departure from campus to reduce your risk of bringing infection with you when you depart campus. For example, if you will be leaving campus on November 21, you would begin your preparations on November 7.
Following are some important guidelines:
- Wear face coverings when around others (even those you live with).
- Avoid locations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain or where face coverings will be removed (for example, when eating or drinking).
- Utilize takeout dining options and limit indoor dining with others. If you eat with others, choose outdoor locations or ensure strict physical distancing is maintained. You should limit the time you are indoors with others and face coverings are removed.
- Use good hand hygiene.
If you experience situations during the two weeks before leaving campus or during your travel that may put you at risk of exposure, you should consider quarantining upon arriving at your destination. Quarantine means staying at a home or dwelling before doing any activities outside of the home, such as getting together with friends or family. People in quarantine should separate themselves from others and check themselves for symptoms. Learn more about quarantine and see tips about quarantining when you share a home.
These prevention measures protect you and others (including high-risk individuals), regardless of where you are and what you are surrounded by.