Fall 2022 Term Updates
On August 12, 2022, the members of Bennington College's Health Advisory Group sent the following message regarding the start of the Fall 2022 term.
Dear Bennington Community,
We are so excited to welcome you to campus this month! A few updates in advance of your return on our COVID-19 Campus Protocols for Fall.
The College continues to monitor COVID-19 conditions within the local community and on campus, and adjust protocols as needed. The BA.5 variant has caused spikes in our larger Bennington community. We have continued to see COVID-19 cases sporadically throughout the summer in our campus community and currently have two active employee cases. For now, and if conditions remain the same, the following plans are in effect for the fall:
Mask Friendly Campus
As of June 22, the College is a “mask friendly” campus, and this policy will continue for the fall. Masks are welcome and encouraged for anyone who wishes to continue to wear one, but are no longer required.
The College continues to require COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for all faculty, staff, and students. Everyone is required to remain up to date on their vaccinations per CDC guidance. For those under the age of 50, you are considered up to date on your vaccinations when you have received all doses in the primary series of an approved vaccine, as well as one booster dose. For those over the age of 50, you are considered up to date on your vaccinations when you have received all doses in the primary series of an approved vaccine, as well as two booster doses. The College continues to monitor the CDC recommendations, and in the event additional boosters are recommended for any group, the College will endeavor to support access. Students who have not submitted proof of their vaccinations or boosters must fill out the following form before arrival to campus.
We are requiring pre-arrival testing for all students, as well as for faculty and staff returning to campus who have been away for the summer. This can be either a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival or two rapid antigen tests, the first within 72 hours and the second at least 24 hours later and as close to arriving on campus as possible. Students who test positive should delay their arrival to campus and let Student Life know about the delay by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send a photo of your test results to email@example.com prior to arrival on campus. Employees who test positive should not come to campus, and should report their positive results to Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org and communicate with their supervisor.
Students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will be able to access rapid antigen tests for free through the Health Center during term. Please do not go to class or attend planned activities, but instead isolate in place and contact email@example.com to procure a rapid antigen test. Employees experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not come to work, and instead contact their healthcare provider for testing. At this time, we are not planning to conduct surveillance testing or contact tracing on campus, and for continuing students, faculty, and staff, please know that the Co-Verified app is being discontinued.
Student Isolation On Campus
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be asked to isolate in place. Detailed instructions will be given by Student Life. For students who have roommates, we will have alternate housing for the isolation period for the COVID negative roommate.
Campus Events & Visitors
Campus events can now be held fully in person, and visitors are asked to be up to date on their vaccinations. We also ask that visitors who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms refrain from coming on campus. A hybrid option is only necessary if an event is a class requirement and includes remote students.
Please know that we are also monitoring the emergence of monkeypox. Students with concerns regarding monkeypox should contact Health Services during term and employees should reach out to HR at firstname.lastname@example.org and their family healthcare providers. We have been communicating with state and local health officials and are poised to respond if necessary.
You can direct related questions to me, Ali Tartaglia, Interim Assistant Dean, Director of Student Health Promotion, and Chair of the COVID Task Force.
We look forward to seeing you on campus soon!
The Health Advisory Group
Dr. Ali Tartaglia, Assistant Dean of Student Life, Director of Wellness
Dr. Randy Anselmo, Director of Health Services
Shelton Walker, Chief of Staff and Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Li-Chen Chin, Dean of Student Life