Visitors barred from college campus
MIDDLEBURY — As students continue to return to Middlebury College this week, college officials announced that they have begun to implement their phased Return to Campus plan, which includes the closure of the campus to the public and nonessential visitors and a period of campus quarantine for all students.
Until further notice, no one except students enrolled in in-person classes, and faculty and staff who need to be on campus for their work, is permitted on campus.
“We know this is hard for people who are so used to walking their dogs or being on campus for many other reasons to change their routines but we need everyone’s cooperation,” college spokesperson Sarah Ray said in an email. “This is for the health and safety of the local community. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in the future.”
CAMPUS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
During Phases 1 and 2 of the three-phase approach, campus will be closed to the general public and visitors, except for essential-service providers authorized by the college. This includes people taking recreational walks through campus and self-guided tours. In Phase 3 the college may allow limited numbers of prospective students to visit campus with protective protocols in place. More information will be provided as the situation planning evolves.
The following sections of the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM) that cross through college property will be closed to the public and reserved for student use only:
• The Red Kelly Trail.
• The Class of 1997 Trail.
• The section of the TAM that runs from College Street through the solar panel array north to Weybridge Street.
• The Knoll.
In addition, all other campus grounds and buildings — including the athletics fields, outdoor track, athletics facilities, art museum, library and all other campus areas — are likewise closed. The college published a map of its campus showing a boundary; it can be viewed online here: tinyurl.com/y4jftlf9.
The Ralph Myhre Golf Course will be open to the public but closed to Middlebury students during Phase 1. This will enable the college to continue a valued service to the community while ensuring that students and community members stay physically distanced during campus quarantine.
ARRIVAL, TESTING AND CAMPUS QUARANTINE
Students began to return to Middlebury on a staggered schedule on Aug. 18, and two additional groups were due to arrive on Aug. 26 and 28. All students are tested upon arrival and then again on Day 7.
Students whose test results confirm they are negative for COVID-19 then enter campus quarantine, during which they are free to move around within most areas of the campus boundaries, observing all safety protocols such as face coverings and physical distancing. In order to limit exposure in the greater community, students will not be permitted to leave the campus during this time. This period is expected to continue for several weeks.
Students who test positive on arrival will be moved into special isolation housing where they will be monitored and cared for by trained college staff.
FAMILIES DROPPING OFF STUDENTS
College officials said in a message to the community that it was reminding parents, family members and others who are dropping off their students on arrival day that they may not come to campus at any time other than their students’ designated testing time. Families who are staying in town must follow Vermont’s travel and quarantine restrictions. Students must remain in quarantine until they arrive on campus for testing and move-in. This means that they cannot walk around town, stop at any businesses or do anything other than drive directly to the campus testing site on their arrival date.
You may read the college’s Return to Campus plan online at tinyurl.com/y2g7gc4n.
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