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99.999% of Midd Kids have tested negative

MIDDLEBURY — The results are in for the initial rounds of COVID-19 testing Middlebury College conducted on incoming students.
Each of the college’s nearly 2,300 residential students has now been tested at least twice for the disease.
Only two have tested positive so far, and both have since recovered, according to the college’s online COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard. Middlebury College now has zero active COVID-19 cases.
Middlebury’s first positive COVID-19 test result came out of arrival-day testing conducted on Aug. 26. 
The second positive case came out of Day 7 (or round two) testing conducted on Sept. 2. It was that particular student’s second COVID-19 test. The first had been negative.
“The student who tested positive was already in quarantine after learning of an exposure at home, and is now in isolation,” said Middlebury College Director of Health Services Mark Peluso in a Sept. 3 announcement on the college website. “The student’s Day 0 arrival test was negative, and they learned about the possible exposure after arrival.”
The Vermont Department of Health was notified and began conducting contact tracing.
At this time no one in the college community is being quarantined as a possible close contact.
The current COVID-19 case rate among residential Middlebury College students is 0.09% — less than half the Addison County rate of 0.22% and about a third of the Vermont rate of 0.26%.
A handful of additional test results are pending, however, so that rate could change.
“While our Day 7 results are certainly encouraging, I want to emphasize again that the low prevalence of COVID-19 cases in our community so far is a credit to the strong compliance of our students with physical distancing, wearing face coverings, hand hygiene, and limiting gathering sizes, as well as to our no-visitor policy,” Peluso wrote in a Sept. 6 update. 
“As we prepare for the start of classes on Tuesday, and beyond, it is imperative that all of us continue these behaviors to protect our entire community of faculty, staff and students.”
Peluso cautioned that several other colleges and universities have seen COVID-19 outbreaks after parties, drinking games or the general relaxing of health and safety precautions.
“The success of our semester depends on everyone continuing to follow the strict guidelines of Phase 1 and remaining in campus quarantine at least through September 15,” he wrote.
Peluso also mentioned that the college had already sanctioned a number of students for non-compliance, including “several dismissals from campus.”
As classes got under way this week, the college was also gearing up to begin conducting what it calls “targeted dynamic testing” of the campus community. 
The current plan is to test at least 750 students or employees every week — or more than 8,000 tests over the course of the residential fall semester, which ends just before Thanksgiving.
College officials said that initial targeted dynamic testing will focus on employees who are required to work on campus, especially those who perform moderate- or high-risk work.
For continuously updated results from all of Middlebury College’s COVID-19 testing, visit its COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard at middlebury.edu/office/midd2021/covid-reporting-dashboard.
Reach Christopher Ross at [email protected].

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