COVID-19 Spring Term Update for Students
We are excited to welcome you back to campus this spring. After what has been a challenging year, we are looking forward to having your positive energy and passion for learning on Bennington’s campus.
All students, faculty, and staff who are planning to return to campus for the Spring 2021 term must uphold the tenets of our Commitment of Shared Responsibility. These important safety measures are necessary for our return to living and learning together on campus. We ask that you review this Commitment, along with the FAQ section of our COVID-19 webpage. When you are ready to make your commitment, please complete this form. Students must complete this agreement no later than Friday, February 5 in order to be eligible to return to campus for the Spring 2021 term.
There is a significant amount of information concerning your arrival, quarantine, and what to bring to campus. Please review this information carefully.
Arrival Testing & Quarantine
Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact with someone currently positive for COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19, should not return to campus for the Spring 2021 term.
Students need to make an appointment for your move in time and your first COVID test for the spring term. You should sign up on the CoVerified App or website. If you have not signed up for an appointment yet on this platform, please use these instructions, you can also learn more about CoVerified using this guide. As a reminder, if you are coming to Bennington this spring as a brand new student (transfer, exchange, or first term), please register for an appointment on February 13 as orientation will begin on February 14. If you are a returning student to campus (even if you were remote in the fall), you can sign up for an appointment on February 13 or February 14. The appointments will allow us to spread out arrival times so that there are limited folks in each space, and we are able to move quickly through the check-in/testing process. Note that you should choose Greenwall for your appointment location for arrival testing.
All students arriving on campus will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and before moving into student housing. After testing, these students will move into their Spring 2021 housing assignment and quarantine in their room until they receive a negative test result (we expect this will be 24-72 hours after arrival). Students will then move to a House quarantine wherein students can leave their room, but need to stay in their House. This House quarantine will end upon all students in their house receiving a negative test result from their second COVID-19 test which will take place on February 22. Students will be notified via an email from Student Life releasing the entire house from quarantine.
What Is Quarantine & Do I Need To?
The State of Vermont says that quarantine means staying at a home or dwelling for 14 days (or less if a negative test result after day 7) before doing any activities outside of the dwelling, like shopping, going to restaurants, taking walks or getting together with friends or family. People in quarantine should separate themselves from others and check themselves for symptoms.
In order to help reduce the risk of the virus being present on campus during the arrival and quarantine period, all students should complete a pre-arrival at-home quarantine and COVID-19 symptom monitoring for 14-days prior to their scheduled on campus arrival.
All students will quarantine on-campus upon arrival in their rooms. Once they receive a negative test result, they will be able to interact with others in their house while wearing masks and being physically distant. Students will then complete a House quarantine until they receive their second negative test result following their test on February 22. Students are subsequently permitted to move about campus and interact with others outside of their house following all guidelines noted in the Commitment to Shared Responsibility. If a student develops symptoms and/or tests positive for COVID-19, the student will be moved to an isolation house and members of the house community will need to continue quarantine.
Arrival Date/Time Selection
We are planning for a smooth and efficient arrival period, Saturday, February 13 or Sunday, February 14, that allows for necessary physical distancing and reduced density in our student houses. In order to do this, we are limiting the number of students arriving each day and students will sign up for an arrival time based on their testing time.
To make an appointment for your move in time and your first COVID test for the spring term. You should sign up on the CoVerified App or website. If you have not signed up for an appointment yet on this platform, please use these instructions, you can also learn more about CoVerified using this guide. As a reminder, if you are coming to Bennington this spring as a brand new student (transfer, exchange, or first term), please register for an appointment on February 13 as orientation will begin on February 14. If you are a returning student to campus (even if you were remote in the fall), you can sign up for an appointment on February 13 or February 14. The appointments will allow us to spread out arrival times so that there are limited folks in each space, and we are able to move quickly through the check-in/testing process. Note that you should choose Greenwall for your appointment location for arrival testing.
Student House Move-In
Students can bring no more than two (2) individuals with them to assist with arrival and must wear masks while on campus. These individuals need to meet Vermont State guidelines for quarantine. In order to protect students who have already arrived and reduce potential virus exposure, only students will be allowed to enter student houses during the arrival period. We know this is disappointing. We encourage students to take photos or videos to share with family and friends of their house and room when they’ve finished arranging and decorating.
What to Bring?
COVID-19 will mean changes to what students typically bring to campus. Bringing fewer possessions will make for a smoother and faster arrival.
Students are encouraged to:
- pack lightly this spring and focus on bringing only essential and important items to campus;
- have a bag of essential items organized in the event that a student needs to relocate or if students need to leave campus on short notice. Suggested items include: extra phone/computer charger, travel-sized personal hygiene items, changes of clothing, small blanket, thermometer, medications—prescription and over-the-counter (pain reliever, cough drops, etc.)
- work with their families to have a plan for vacating campus quickly should the need arise.
Students need to bring:
- several cloth masks; we suggest 5-7 (consider the time needed to wash/dry masks and bring enough to wear a clean one each day)
- a thermometer
- cleaning supplies for their room (and private bathroom, if they have one).
- Water bottle especially for during the quarantine period to be filled within houses.
Additionally, please refer to this link to the Residential Life page to learn more about what is/not permitted in student houses.
We know this is a significant amount of information to absorb and the Student Life team is available to answer questions as they arise. We look forward to seeing you soon.
COVID-19 Updates and Information
Please check the COVID-19 Updates page regularly—we will be using this page to share important updates.