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College employee tests positive for COVID-19

MIDDLEBURY — A Middlebury College employee has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a campus-wide email Monday morning.
“Our colleague is recuperating in isolation and is doing well,” wrote Director of Health Services Mark Peluso. “At this time, transmission risk to students and coworkers is considered very low due to the situational circumstances.”
This is the third positive test in the college community since students began arriving for the fall semester, and the first confirmed case among staff or faculty since then.
Another employee had tested positive and recovered before the college created its COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard on July 29.
College officials informed the Vermont Department of Health, which has begun contact tracing.
Peluso promised to provide an update “in the unlikely event that further transmission has occurred,” but asked that the community respect the employee’s privacy and refrain from speculating about their identity.
The college’s COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard was updated to include the new positive case; no close contacts have been quarantined as of noon Monday, according to the dashboard. This story will be updated once that information becomes available.
As of Sept. 24, the college had conducted more than 6,700 COVID-19 tests. All but two were negative, a testing rate of 0.03%.
“Any occurrence of a positive case in our community underscores the importance of following the core preventative practices of wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and hand hygiene that have resulted in a low prevalence on campus,” Peluso concluded in his email. “Following the college’s personal travel guidelines and state of Vermont quarantine requirements also limits any possible transmission. You can learn more about travel protocols at VT Cross-State Travel.”

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