Our behaviors as individuals impact our own health, the health of those around us, and our entire community. Read about why these individual actions are important.

Staying Informed

Health conditions in the region, in Addison County, and on campus can change quickly. The state of Vermont or College requirements may change in response to the changing conditions.

What is important to know:

During the spring semester, the campus status web page will provide the Middlebury community with the most up-to-date information about current requirements on campus. The community will also be kept informed through email announcements and updates. Webinars will be offered throughout the spring semester to provide students, faculty, and staff with an opportunity to learn about current health conditions and changes to the state and college requirements, and to ask questions.

Daily Health Check

When someone is sick or has had a possible exposure to COVID-19, staying away from others will reduce the chance of spreading illness.

What is important to know:

Students, faculty, and staff are required to conduct a daily health check prior to interacting with anyone on campus. This means taking their temperature at the start of each day and verifying that they have no symptoms of COVID-19, that they have not been in close contact with an individual who is positive for COVID-19, and that they have not tested positive for COVID-19. Students should bring personal thermometers with them to campus so they can check their temperatures daily.

Students enrolled for on-campus study must use the PolicyPath app for their daily health checks.

Employees working on campus will use this Qualtrics online survey or a department-specific process defined by their manager or supervisor.

Students with symptoms will contact Health Services at 802-443-3290 for guidance during office hours and MiddTelehealth after hours and on weekends. Employees with symptoms should contact their healthcare provider. Individuals with severe or sudden-onset symptoms should call 911. 

Face Coverings

Wearing a cloth face covering is one of the most effective methods to help prevent the spread of the virus—particularly when used universally within a community setting.

What is important to know:

Cloth face coverings must be worn by students, faculty, and staff when on campus in both indoor and outdoor locations with few exceptions. A face covering should always be carried in case circumstances require one.

Face coverings are required except in the following circumstances: when alone in a private space, when alone or with only your roommate in your bedroom, when eating in an appropriately physically distanced location, or when exercising outside alone. Refer to the campus status web page for the most up-to-date information and requirements on face coverings.

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. Face coverings will also be for sale at the bookstore and MiddXpress.

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to use the face covering of their choosing as long as they comply with current CDC guidance on face coverings. Face coverings must completely cover the nose and mouth and fit securely and snugly against the sides of the face. Scarves and buffs that protect the face in cold weather may not be adequate and should only be used in addition to a face covering. Masks with one-way valves are not allowed, as these masks do not effectively protect others. 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.

If a student or employee has a disability or medical condition that requires accommodations for a specific type of mask or face covering, they must contact the Disability Resource Center (students) or Human Resources (faculty and staff). 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 students and employees who will be on campus.

Physical Distancing

One of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the virus is to limit close face-to-face contact with others. While airborne and surface transmission are possible, COVID-19 typically spreads when people are in close contact (within about six feet) and when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose come into contact with others. People can spread the virus before knowing they are sick.

What is important to know:

Living and working together on a college campus during a pandemic requires a community approach. Practicing physical distancing requires us to make significant changes to how we live, work, and study. Social interactions can still occur in a safe way. Campus common spaces such as classrooms, dining spaces, break rooms, labs, event spaces, and lounges have been adjusted and rearranged to allow for physical distancing. The campus status web page will have the most up-to-date information on residential space capacities.

Individuals must respect one another’s personal space and maintain physical distances of at least six feet from others, including in common spaces throughout buildings such as entryways, hallways, stairways, and restrooms. Employees may perform necessary work tasks within six feet of another employee only when the activity is approved by a supervisor as part of the departmental COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan.

Close Contacts

The virus spreads easily when people are in close contact with one another and can spread even when someone is not feeling sick. An individual can reduce the chance of being exposed to the virus or exposing others by reducing their number of close contacts.

“Close contact” means being within six feet of someone for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, or having direct physical contact with someone.

What is important to know:

Faculty and staff
While working on campus, faculty and staff should perform their work in a way that prevents them from being considered a close contact of others. If necessary work tasks require close contact with coworkers, the activity must be approved by a supervisor as part of the departmental COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan.

Close contacts refer to a very limited number of people, such as romantic or intimate partners, with whom a student interacts. Students who live in doubles are considered close contacts with their roommate regardless of whether they interact outside of their room. The number of close contacts may change depending on state requirements and local health conditions. Refer to the campus status web page for the most up-to-date information on close contacts. When health conditions allow (as indicated on the campus status web page), students may relax precautions (face covering and physical distancing requirements) only with their limited number of close contacts and only when they are in a private setting where no other individuals who are not their close contacts are present. Note that no close contact is permitted during the campus arrival testing period.

Remember that interacting with others can be done safely in ways that do not involve close contact—by wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing, and doing so in approved locations and/or during College-sponsored activities such as dining, attending classes, studying, and participating in athletics, performances, religious gatherings, approved events, and/or other campus programming that is conducted in such a way that allows for appropriate health and safety precautions.

Students and employees must maintain a list of people whom they have been in close contact with each day in the event contact tracing becomes necessary.

Gatherings and Events

Vermont data shows that many COVID-19 outbreaks are associated with social gatherings where face coverings were not worn and physical distancing was not maintained. Gathering with others can be done in a way that reduces the spread of COVID-19—when gatherings consist of people who are wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing, and doing so in approved locations. 

What is important to know:

The state of Vermont is restricting social gatherings on college campuses to reduce the chance of having COVID-19 outbreaks. However, approved College events, in-person classes, dining or studying in designated locations, College-affiliated athletics, and approved campus programming such as student organization activities are allowed. These organized activities in approved locations include carefully planned and monitored health and safety measures that reduce the spread of COVID-19. Social gatherings in casual settings do not always follow the same health and safety precautions. Activities are safer if everyone is wearing face coverings, physical distancing can be maintained, and the activities are held in well-ventilated spaces and outdoors whenever possible.

Increased risk if masks not worn, indoor space, crowded place. Decreased risk if masks worn, outdoor space, 6 feet between people.
(Credit: CDC )

The campus status web page has the most up-to-date information on gathering and event sizes. Gathering size requirements apply to students living on campus and to students living off-campus who are enrolled for on-campus study. Students living off campus and enrolled to study remotely or on leave in Vermont must follow all state of Vermont guidelines regarding household gatherings. Students living in off-campus houses with both students who are enrolled for on-campus study and as fully remote learners or with students who are on a leave of absence must comply with the requirements for the students living off campus who are enrolled for on-campus study.

Campus Event Review

Many campus events can be held in a way that reduces the risk of exposure to attendees. The Department of Event Management review process helps prospective hosts put in place appropriate measures to minimize the chance of viral transmission.

What is important to know:

All campus events, inside and outside, must be approved through the Department of Event Management. Whenever possible, meetings and events should use virtual platforms (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, telephone, etc.). Availability of space is limited due to capacity reductions aligned with COVID-19 physical distancing requirements. Priority of space use during the 2020–21 academic year will be for meetings, events, and activities involving students. Meetings and events that are solely for faculty and staff should be held virtually unless there is a specific need for in-person activity, in which case an event request should be submitted for review.  

Any approved event, indoor or outdoor, will require face coverings, physical distancing, attendance taking for contact tracing purposes, and special attention to hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Since the chance of exposure increases when participants are not wearing face coverings, events involving food or drink will be limited and require special approval through the Event Management review process

All use of space (indoor and outdoor) must comply with the maximum occupancy for the space being used and meet the event size requirements listed in the campus status web page.  

Hosting or inviting outside guests, speakers, presenters, or other visitors, and use of College space for non-College events will not be possible during the 2020–21 academic year.

Hand Hygiene

Washing hands or using hand sanitizer eliminates germs and lowers the risk of getting infected with a virus when someone touches their face, nose, or eyes. This practice prevents someone who is infected (even if they don’t feel sick) from spreading germs to others when touching shared surfaces.

What is important to know:

Students, faculty, and staff should frequently and thoroughly wash their hands 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 is located inside the entrances to campus buildings and in classrooms and event spaces.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands and do not touch any personal items (keys, cell phone, etc.) or eat with unwashed hands. Disinfect personal items such as keys, cell phones, and keyboards frequently. Individuals should always cover their mouth and nose with tissues when they cough or sneeze or direct the sneeze into the inside of their elbow. All tissues should be thrown in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.

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 as advised by managers or supervisors.

Flu Vaccine

Annual influenza (flu) vaccine is recommended by the CDC for all U.S. citizens older than six months of age, barring any medical contraindications. Vaccination reduces the burden of respiratory illness in our community and the likelihood that an individual would need to be quarantined due to concerns about COVID-19.

What is important to know:

Students, because they either live in congregate housing or have significant interactions with other students that do, are required to get a flu vaccine, barring any documented medical or religious exemptions. Students who have not received the 2020 flu vaccine will not be permitted to return to campus. Students who did not receive the flu vaccine from the College during the fall semester must upload documentation of flu vaccination (or documentation of a medical or religious exemption) through the Student Health Portal to Health Services prior to their return to campus. Students who already received a flu vaccination or medical or religious exemption through Health Services are in compliance and will not have to provide further documentation.

Employees are strongly encouraged to get the flu vaccine. In accordance with the Health Pledge, employees should consult with their healthcare provider about receiving the 2020 flu vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Vermont began vaccinating healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff in December 2020. Although COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be more widely available throughout 2021, the complete rollout will take months. Students who are enrolled to study on campus and employees who work on campus will be expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available and feasible, unless they have a documented medical or religious exemption. In the meantime, protective health measures—including wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and limiting close contacts—will continue to be necessary throughout the spring semester, even for those individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

What is important to know:

More must be learned about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before we can know how the vaccine will change our day-to-day interactions with others and if any of the protective health measures can be relaxed. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also come into play. Together, the COVID-19 vaccine and protective behaviors are the best ways to prevent the transmission and spread of COVID-19.

The Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 web page provides the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccines in Vermont.