COVID guide: Middlebury College’s reopening plan

Middlebury’s Return to Campus Guide can be found online here.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College welcomed students back to campus in late August will host residential students this fall as long as it is safe to do so.
Upon their arrival students were immediately tested for COVID-19 and then tested again one week later.
The college will test at least 750 students, faculty or staff every week, and will increase that number if necessary.
Middlebury’s Return to Campus Guide describes the institution’s phased approach to reopening and details health and safety guidelines every member of the college community must observe.
The following is adapted from Appendix A of that guide, which outlines the gradual loosening of restrictions, as long as it’s safe to do so.
This information, including dates, could change at any time, as the college continues to monitor public health conditions. Refer to our COVID-19 Resource Guide landing page at for the most up-to-date status.

The college is opening this fall in three phases. Phase 2 and Phase 3 have tentative start dates of September 15 and October 5 respectively but the College will only move from one phase to the next if it is considered safe to do so. The phases are below:
• Phase 1: Campus Quarantine: Living and working safely by maintaining low density and limited contact, and maximizing outdoor settings.
• Phase 2: Making incremental changes to allow for moderate density and resuming some forms of daily activities, including indoor activities.
• Phase 3: Sustaining: Increasing activity, travel and gathering sizes consistent with state guidance.
Middlebury’s phased approach to opening incorporates the proven public health measures of daily health screenings, face coverings, physical distancing and hand hygiene.  The college’s Return to Campus Guide stresses that these required steps protect individuals, the campus community and the wider Middlebury community.
Daily health checks and hand hygiene are required in all phases. 

Phase 1: required everywhere, with the following exceptions:
• when alone in a private space.
• when alone or with a roommate in a dorm room or off-campus bedroom (as long as all occupants received a second negative COVID-19 test).
• when in a bathroom performing personal grooming.
• while eating in an appropriately physically distanced location.
• when exercising outdoors alone.
Phase 2: same as Phase 1, with the following exception: outdoors with physical distancing, if public health conditions permit.
Phase 3: same as Phase 2, but with adjusted restrictions if state requirements change.

Phase 1: Physical distancing required for everyone, except staff performing essential work.
Phase 2: Same as Phase 1, but students may relax physical distancing with a small social circle, if permitted by state guidance. Students must maintain a contact-tracing journal. Staff and faculty should keep track of their meetings for contact-tracing purposes.
Phase 3: Same as Phase 2, but with adjusted restrictions according to state guidelines.

Phase 1:
• All meals to-go or delivered. Students may eat in their residential space or outside in groups of 10 or fewer, with strict physical distancing.
• Faculty and staff will not be allowed in dining halls or the Grille.
Phase 2:
• Limited inside seating available in dining halls to ensure physical distancing.
• To-go meals still available.
• Faculty and staff still not allowed in dining halls or the Grille.
Phase 3:
• Dining operations set up to comply with state seating-capacity guidelines.
• To-go meals still available.
• Faculty and staff may get takeout from the Grille.

Phase 1: provided primarily online or by phone; libraries will offer pickup services only.
Phase 2: A mix of remote and in-person services provided by appointment.
Phase 3: Services may be provided in person, consistent with state guidance.

Phase 1:
• Professional and student staff will be present on campus. Most appointments will be held remotely, but staff may respond in-person as appropriate.
• Deans will hold appointments remotely but will be on call to respond in person to campus crises.
Phase 2: More interactions will occur in person, as long as they meet safety guidelines.
Phase 3: Most interactions will occur in person, as long as they follow safety guidelines. 

Phase 1:
• Outdoor, low-risk, noncontact recreational activities allowed on campus grounds during campus quarantine.
• Indoor athletic facilities closed.
• Employees, visitors prohibited from using athletic facilities.
Students may not use ancillary facilities such as the golf course and the Snow Bowl. They may use only the portion of the Trail Around Middlebury on College property (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), and the Knoll.
Phase 2:
• Indoor athletic facilities open for limited activity with reduced capacity, in compliance with state guidelines.
• Employees, visitors prohibited from using athletic facilities.
• Students may use ancillary facilities.
• Climbing wall closed.
Phase 3: 
• Same as Phase 2, consistent with state guidance.

All phases:
• COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care will be provided in addition to arrival and targeted dynamic testing.
• Telehealth will be available 24/7 for medical and mental health, including for students enrolled to study remotely.

Phase 1:
• Remote employment
• On-campus employment started September 7 for students who have completed testing, quarantine and safety training.
Phase 2:
• On-campus employment
• Off-campus employment within Addison County with Vermont state health and safety protocols in place
Phase 3
• Same as Phase 2

The campus, including residence buildings, will be closed for the semester to all but students and employees, except:
Phase 1: contractors working on approved time-sensitive projects and the golf course.
Phase 2: approved contracted services and the golf course.
Phase 3: approved contracted services, admissions visitors with restrictions and the golf course.

Guidelines apply to casual/social gatherings, registered parties and events, but not to scheduled classes. 
Phase 1:
• 10-person maximum for casual/social gatherings and only in locations where strict physical distancing is possible.
• no registered parties permitted.
• 25-person maximum for scheduled orientation and training activities.
Phase 2: 
•10-person maximum for casual/social gatherings and only in locations where strict physical distancing is possible.
• 25-person maximum for parties; registration required.
• 50-person maximum for indoor gatherings, which must be approved by Event Management.
• 75-person maximum for outdoor gatherings approved by Event Management.
Phase 3: Maximum gathering size determined by state guidance and health conditions on campus.

Phase 1: Most programming and staff availability remote, some in-person, though very limited. No outdoor programming.
Phase 2: Student organization activities and programs permitted when consistent with campus and state guidelines; limited phased restart of outdoor programming.
Phase 3: Same as Phase 2.

Including dancing, singing, wind and brass instruments, and high-contact sports:
Phase 1: 
• Only no-contact activities are allowed, if permitted by state guidelines.
• No high-risk activities allowed.
• All activities require physical distancing and face coverings.
Phase 2:
• High-risk activities very limited, must be approved by the college and must follow state guidelines.
• High-risk activities require a risk assessment and safety plan.
• Higher-risk activities should occur outdoors whenever possible or in spaces approved through risk assessment.
Phase 3: Same as Phase 2, with restrictions informed by risk assessment, local health conditions and state guidelines.

Physical distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene required in all three phases.
Phase 1:
• On the Middlebury campus only.
• Registered on-campus vehicles may be used only for evacuation.
• Off-campus students enrolled for in-person classes may travel to and from campus in their vehicles.
Phase 2: 
• No travel outside of Addison County; no overnight travel without prior dean approval. Students must comply with all quarantine and health and safety requirements upon their return to campus.
Phase 3: 
• No travel outside Vermont; no overnight travel without prior dean approval.

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