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Middlebury College to require COVID-19 vaccination

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College will require that will require all students, faculty and staff living, learning, or working on campus in the fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The college will make exceptions for people who have an approved medical or religious exemption.
Fully vaccinated means that two weeks have passed since a person received the final dose of their vaccine, according to an update posted online Thursday by Middlebury President Laurie Patton, Executive Vice President David Provost and Provost Jeff Cason.
“Looking ahead to the fall semester, it is increasingly clear that Middlebury’s path to resuming more in-person instruction, events, and on-campus work is dependent on increasing the number of people who are vaccinated,” they wrote.
Current students must declare their intentions about being on campus this fall by May 21.
College employees working on campus for the summer language schools, which begin June 24, should be fully vaccinated by June 10.
Given that officials expect many college departments currently working remotely to return to close-to-normal levels of in-person work by mid-August, all faculty and staff working on campus in Middlebury must be fully vaccinated as of Aug. 16.
“Specific dates of return to in-person work will vary depending on work function or department, but employees should plan to become fully vaccinated as soon as possible — and no later than 14 days prior to their arrival on campus,” Patton, Provost and Cason wrote.
They said they were encouraged that many in the Middlebury College community are already fully vaccinated or have begun the process. As of May 13, 51 percent of Vermonters age 16 and older are fully vaccinated, and 69.9 percent have received at least one dose, according to the Vermont Department of Health. In Addison County, 77.8 percent of those eligible — the highest percentage among Vermont counties — have begun the vaccination process. (See the daily count for COVID-19 cases in Addison County and in Vermont by clicking here.)
Students and staff (aside from those who file for an exemption) must provide documentation of their vaccination. Everyone should keep the original copy of their vaccination information in a safe place and retain a photo of it on their phone or make a photocopy, college officials urged. All undergraduates must upload to their student health portal a photo of their COVID-19 vaccine record.
The college is still figuring out the process for employees to provide their vaccination documentation.
Patton, Provost and Cason said there are mindful of the terrible toll that COVID-19 is taking in India and other parts of the world “where the pandemic has overtaken healthcare resources and caused untold loss of life and livelihood.
“Scientific research tells us that vaccination of the vast majority of our community will provide the best possible protection against COVID-19. We expect that once most individuals are vaccinated, we will be able to relax restrictions, move away from testing and capacity limits, and resume more activities and events.
“We have much to look forward to, and we are excited about the prospect of returning to life at Middlebury in many of the ways we all miss, while continuing to keep our community safe.”
 

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