COVID-19 Updates, From the President

Covid Update—April 1, 2021

The following message was sent to Faculty, Staff, and Students on April 1, 2021.

Dear Students, Staff, Faculty, and Families,

It’s April and it is snowing. Unfortunately, that’s not an April Fools joke! There will be warmer weather next week. I’m writing today to follow up on the state of positive cases, subsequent safety measures, and vaccine availability in Vermont.

Positive cases

As you know, earlier this week we had our first positive COVID-19 case among the student body outside of arrival testing. The good news is that there have been no positive student cases since that one. We continue to test everyone on a weekly basis.

All students in Booth House are quarantining now and will test again next Monday. If all the results are negative, they will be released from quarantine on Tuesday. We are meeting with students in the House about how the quarantine can be least disruptive for them and how to communicate these developments with the campus community.

An employee also tested positive, and contact tracing is being conducted now. We believe that there is very little possibility of community spread from this case. If you live outside of Booth House and have not been contacted, then you were not identified as a close contact and you don't need to quarantine.

This is the same policy we have used in other cases of potential exposure. It has been effective in containing and preventing campus infections and we are grateful for everyone’s cooperation.

Vaccine eligibility for out of state students

As you may have heard, there has been some confusion over whether students who are not permanent Vermont residents are eligible for vaccines in the state. Governor Scott clarified that policy yesterday, though it is still subject to change with vaccine supply availability.

At this time, students who intend to stay in Vermont for the summer will be eligible for vaccination on April 16 and all other students will be eligible on April 30. We will send information as soon as possible about how you can sign up for and where you can get a vaccine. We feel strongly that getting all students vaccinated as soon as possible is paramount to our collective health and we are advocating with the state for all students to be able to receive vaccines as early as possible and in the most convenient way. We will keep you posted about any changes.

Planning for Commencement

As a reminder, our in-person Commencement plans for students are contingent upon a healthy campus. Every choice we make today can directly impact the event. Let’s stay vigilant and plan for brighter days.

Thank you,

Laura Walker