Updates and Community Messages

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Updated Sunday, October 25, 2020

From President Sterritt – Plans for the coming week 

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,  

This morning College leadership met with representatives from the Vermont Department of Health, including Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, MD about the COVID-19 cases we have identified on campus. The group conducted a detailed breakdown of all testing, quarantine, and isolation procedures conducted to date, and the Health Department offered continued support of the College’s protocols and collaborated with us on our decision-making regarding the coming week’s activities and plans for upcoming testing 

At this momentthere are 26 active positive cases of COVID-19, all in isolationand 13students who have been identified as contacts and are now in quarantineThe Health Department’s contact tracing is ongoing and nearing completionThey have told us that we should expect some additional positive cases among those contacts now in quarantine 

The Health Department was very clear: we have a good opportunity to contain and manage these cases, but they emphasized that everyone must strictly adhere to the College’s COVID policies. In collaboration with the Health Department, we have made the following decisions related to activities for the coming week. We will reassess these restrictions next weekend 

Activities for this week (through Sunday, November 1) 

  • Through Friday, October 30 there will be no in-person classes or labs. All classes will be virtual only. Tuesday, October 27 is still a break day from classes. 
  • Through Sunday, November 1 there will be no in-person activities including Chapel services, and dining will be take-out only.  
  • This week, off-campus internships and student teaching are virtual only. 
  • To protect the wider community, we are asking all students to remain on campus to the absolute maximum extent possible. This includes all off-campus work/jobs except for those individuals who are defined as “essential workers,” such as students with Fire and Rescue.  
  • Commuter students are asked to not come to campus this week. 
  • Employees and students with positions on campus who are not in quarantine or isolation may continue with their work either remotely or in their workspaces as approved by supervisors.   
  • Students are still limited to one on-campus guest per residentin or near their living space. Gatherings must not exceed 10, including residents, in any common space or even outside. Offcampus guests are still not permitted. 
  • Facilities, e.g., library, Dion, mailroom, computer labs, will continue to be open for those not in quarantine or isolation. Strict physical distancing and mask wearing is required.  
  • Ross and Tarrant Centers continue to be limited to non-organized recreational use only, with all established health and safety measures in place.  
  • No athletic team activities will be permitted.  
  • A Zoom session for students in quarantine and isolation is being held today  
  • Despite virtual learning this week, the Health Department asks that students NOT leave campus and travel home, even within Vermont. 

Testing this week 

  • The Health Department endorsed the College’s plan for testing this week (outlined below). 
  • All on-campus students will be tested on Saturday, October 31. A schedule will be sent out later this week. The previously scheduled surveillance testing for Tuesday, October 27 will not be taking place.  
  • Students who are completing their day seven of quarantine this week (as contacts of prior cases) will be tested this week on their scheduled days as notified directly by the Bergeron Wellness Center. Those who receive a negative result from that test will be released from quarantine and permitted to resume campus activities, as outlined above and participate in the allCollege testing on Saturday with the rest of the student body. 
  • We will be working with the Health Department to determine the testing schedule for subsequent weeks leading up to the end of the semester.  

Working with our partners at the Health Department, we will continue to monitor our community closely and to communicate with you regularly. It is imperative that everyone follow the policies strictly. Please also remember to complete the daily health affirmation and monitor your health closely. Students should contact the Bergeron Wellness Center at 802 654-2234, and employees should contact their health care provider, if they are not feeling well or have any symptoms. For other questions, please direct them to returntocampus@smcvt.edu, and your message will be forwarded to the appropriate person. 

 There is no question that we have a lot of work ahead of us to care for those in quarantine and isolation and to limit further spread of the virus. We appreciate all those faculty, staff, and students who have offered to help. While the next weeks are going to be difficult for all of us, we are in a good position to manage the situation and to continue our work together. 

 Sincerely, 

Lorraine Sterritt
President 

Updated October 24, 2020 - 6:00 p.m.

From President Sterritt – Friday’s surveillance testing results

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,  

We have just received all the results from the 913 surveillance tests conducted yesterday, and there are eight positive cases in addition to the nine positive cases resulting from testing of contacts which were reported to you earlier today. These students have been moved to isolation, and Vermont Department of Health contact tracing has begun for them. Any students identified as contacts will be quarantined. Again, let’s all please show our care and concern for those who are in isolation and quarantine. 

We anticipated that additional positives would result from these surveillance tests and are encouraged that the numbers are limited. We have a good opportunity to contain thnumber of cases  

College leadership will be meeting with the Vermont Department of Health tomorrow morning in order to make decisions about classes and activities for the coming week, and we will communicate that information tomorrow 

Sincerely,  

Lorraine Sterritt
President 

Updated October 24, 2020

From President Sterritt – Contact testing results to date

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

We have received the test results from the students identified as contacts of the positive cases we reported on Thursday. Among those contacts, an additional nine students have tested positive for COVID-19. These students were already in quarantine and are now being moved to isolation, and the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) is conducting contact tracing. These steps comply with the protocol of early detection, quarantine, and testing that we had put in place to identify the virus early and manage it. I commend the VDH and our own Bergeron Wellness Center for their swift and expert handling of the situation.

By tomorrow we expect to have received all the results of the 913 surveillance tests that we conducted yesterday, and we will report them to you. At that point, we will decide whether in-person classes, dining, and activities can resume on Monday.

I won’t sugarcoat it. It was extremely disturbing to learn that the likely source of the spread was one or more students knowingly disregarding policies. We are continuing to investigate the source of the spread, and should we establish that these cases are in fact tied directly to a person or persons who deliberately disregarded our community’s COVID-19 protocols, there will be serious consequences for those responsible. Deliberately violating protocols puts more than our academic plans at risk.  It puts people’s health, and even their lives, at risk.

I also want to emphasize to everyone that a positive COVID-19 result does not necessarily mean that someone disregarded the guidelines. Please show students who are in quarantine and isolation your support and care.

Students have repeatedly expressed to me that they are extremely grateful for all the work done by the faculty, the staff, and the administration to ensure that students could be on campus this semester. We want to keep it that way. Anyone who violates our policies is irresponsibly jeopardizing our ability to continue the semester in person and will be held accountable.

I want to recognize and thank the overwhelming majority of students and all who have taken this pandemic seriously, not only wearing masks and adhering to protocols, but volunteering through the SMC CAN! and other groups dedicated to being part of the solution. For all of them the news of these cases is particularly disappointing.

I am profoundly grateful for the hard work being done by everyone on campus throughout this semester, especially those in the Bergeron Wellness Center and in Student Life who were working long hours before this happened, and who are now working around the clock to help our students and to contain the virus. They all deserve our utmost gratitude and support.

We will follow up regarding Friday’s test results and plans for Monday’s classes when the information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated October 22, 2020

From Vice President for Student Affairs Dawn Ellinwood – COVID Information and Testing Update

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

All students identified as positive for COVID-19 in this week’s testing have been interviewed by the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) contact tracers and are now in isolation. The VDH tracers have also completed their contact tracing and have identified approximately 50 student contacts. Students identified as contacts have been tested and placed into quarantine. Contacts will remain in quarantine until a subsequent test on day seven provides a negative result.

We have been working closely with the VDH throughout the day, and they have let us know that so far it appears that these positive cases are connected to each other. This is encouraging in that it follows similar instances of positive cases on college and university campuses, which were then quickly traced and isolated, and additional spread was contained. In addition to following all of the Health Department’s guidance through these cases, the College has decided that tomorrow we will test all students who have not undergone surveillance testing or contact testing this week.

Important Surveillance Testing Update
Students with the last names A – M will be undergoing testing tomorrow, Friday October 23. You can find a schedule of test times on our website. If you are in isolation or quarantine or have already had a test this week you will not need to appear for testing. Students will not have surveillance testing conducted next week. Thanks in advance to faculty for their flexibility with student testing during class times, allowing students to miss part of class as necessary in order to meet their testing obligation.

While we are managing these positive cases and tracing contacts, I ask that students leave campus only for necessities. If you do need to leave campus, please remain in the area and remember that it is imperative that you wear a mask and maintain physical distancing. In addition to our responsibility to keep our campus safe, we must do our part to keep our surrounding communities safe.

It is important for us to keep in mind that we prepared for this eventuality, and while this is difficult, it is not unexpected. Let’s support one another as we manage this and continue with our academic work.

Stay well.

Dawn Ellinwood
Vice President for Student Affairs

Updated October 22, 2020

From President Sterritt – Important COVID Update

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

This morning, we received the results of this week’s surveillance testing, and we have six new positive cases, all asymptomatic. The Executive Policy Group has already met with the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) this morning, and contact tracing is underway now. The VDH will be in touch imminently with anyone who is deemed to be a contact.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are transitioning to all remote classes, effective immediately, and for the rest of the week in order to allow the VDH to conduct contact tracing. All in-person activities, including athletics, are also suspended through the weekend. Dining will be take-out only.

Please be assured that the College is following its established COVID-19 protocols, working very closely with the VDH, and we will continue to provide new information as we have it.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated October 15, 2020

From President Sterritt – Important Updates on Spring Semester

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Today the State of Vermont published its Mandatory Guidelines for Colleges and Universities for a Safe and Healthy Return to Campus, so we are now permitted to communicate our plans for the spring semester. Thank you for your patience.

As was the case for the current semester, some students will be required to arrive early to quarantine, and the majority of students will move in two weeks later. Because the State’s guidelines do not allow in-person classes before February 1, we will start our spring classes remotely on January 25, with in-person classes beginning on February 4, i.e., the week after everyone has moved in and we have received results from our first round of COVID-19 tests. As in the fall, to comply with the State’s requirements we will not have a mid-semester break, but instead, three mid-week respite days (break days). We believe this plan and the guidelines associated with it will allow us to have a successful spring semester and manage the pandemic’s impact on our community.

Important Dates

  • Friday, January 15: Move-in for students required to quarantine 14 days on campus (see below).
  • Monday, January 25: All classes begin remotely.
  • Sunday, January 31: Move-in for all other (non-quarantine) students.
  • Monday, February 1: Testing for all non-quarantine students. Remote classes continue.
  • Thursday, February 4: In-person instruction begins for those classes that have in-person components (when test results are back).
  • Break: There will be three mid-week respite days (break days) during the semester, but no traditional spring break, per the Governor’s requirements.  The break days are February 25, March 24, and April 13.
  • Wednesday, May 5: Last day of classes.
  • May 7 – 12: Final exams.

The academic calendar is now published on the website.

Quarantine Requirements (the classifications below are taken directly from the State Guidelines)

Home State (“Home-state quarantine”): If traveling to Vermont in a private vehicle without making a prolonged stop (avoid gatherings such as restaurants, limit gas stops, if overnight travel is required – reduce social contacts), quarantine at home for 14 days immediately prior to traveling to Vermont (individuals may complete a shorter quarantine if they receive a negative COVID-19 test after day 7 and travel directly to Vermont without breaking the quarantine); OR

In Vermont after mass transit to Vermont (“Vermont quarantine”): If traveling to Vermont with people from multiple households, via bus, rail or commercial airlines, individuals must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Vermont (after day 7 the individual may get a COVID-19 test and upon receiving a negative result, end their quarantine); OR

Non-Quarantine Counties (“non-quarantine”): Students traveling to Vermont from a non-quarantine county as identified by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, who travel in a private vehicle without making a prolonged stop, may arrive without completing a quarantine.

Testing requirements

Students in the “Vermont quarantine” who quarantine on campus will undergo testing on approximately day 7 after their move in and undergo surveillance testing over the course of the semester thereafter.

Students in both the “home-state quarantine” and “non-quarantine” groups will undergo testing the day after move-in, then again 7 days later, then undergo surveillance testing over the course of the semester thereafter.

We will again be charging a comprehensive testing fee of $150 for each student which will cover all student tests conducted on campus, whether surveillance, required because of contact tracing, or symptomatic.

Spring Health and Safety Protocols and Guidelines

Because they have served us well to date, the health and safety protocols we all have been adhering to this fall semester will stay in place for the spring semester. This means wearing face masks, physical distancing, avoiding large groups, not allowing visitors, and no out-of-state travel will all remain in place.

While we are confident in our plan, and it has been approved by the Governor’s Office, we are all at the mercy of this pandemic until we have a safe, effective, and widely available vaccine. If the situation dictates any changes to our plans, we will communicate them immediately.

Athletics

Our athletics administration is still deep in planning with the NCAA, the State of Vermont, and the Northeast-10 Conference regarding schedules and health and safety requirements for competition in the spring semester. We will communicate more as soon as decisions have been made.

Again, I thank you for your patience, and I thank everyone who has taken the guidelines this fall seriously so that we could bring everyone back safely and conduct our important work together.

Please stay well.

Sincerely yours,
Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated September 24, 2020

From President Sterritt – Testing Results

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

Today we learned of our first positive test result for COVID-19 this semester. In this week’s round of surveillance tests of our students, we had 527 negative results and one positive. I am writing to provide you with more information and to assure you that the College continues to hold your health and safety as its first priority.

We have strict protocols in place to identify and isolate any positive cases and contacts. We are not alone in detecting positive cases, and we have seen positive cases managed successfully in other colleges throughout the state. Our careful planning for this eventuality together with everyone’s continued adherence to our health guidelines can allow us to continue with our important academic work.

In accordance with the Vermont Department of Health guidelines, we have plans in place to isolate any positive cases, to provide meals as necessary, and to facilitate students conducting their coursework remotely until it is safe to reengage with the community. This is typically 10 days from the date of a positive result for asymptomatic individuals, and a combination of going 24 hours with no fever (without using fever-reducing medication), and going at least 10 days since the onset of any symptoms (from Vermont Department of Health information of 8/18).

The Vermont Department of Health is actively conducting contact tracing and reaching out to any individuals who should quarantine and/or be tested as a result of contact with the individual(s). If you do not hear from the Vermont Department of Health, you are not considered to be a contact. If you are notified by the Vermont Department of Health that you are a contact, you will follow the instructions they provide. Students will also work with the staff of the Bergeron Wellness Center for assistance to get tested and/or quarantined. Employees will work directly with the Department of Health and their primary care provider.

We will continue to work closely with the Vermont Department of Health to manage any additional positive cases that occur over the semester and report those cases on our Return to Campus web page.

Please remember that confidentiality must be maintained and that we must not stigmatize anyone who tests positive. A positive test can result through no fault of the individual. Let’s all remember that they deserve our concern and support to ensure that they are well cared for, can do their work, become healthy again, and rejoin the community when it is safe to do so.

Thank you all for your efforts to avoid this virus. I have seen so many of you taking full responsibility for your own actions. It is encouraging and inspiring to see. We can do this. We must stay strong and keep up our vigilance at all times.

If you have questions, we have created a COVID hot line during business hours which is 802-654-2002, or you can email ReturntoCampus@smcvt.edu. Individuals staffing this telephone line and email account will answer your questions or get back to you promptly. If you have an emergency, you can always reach Public Safety via the switchboard at any hour 802-654-2000.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated September 18, 2020

Dear Saint Michael’s Students,  

This week completes the first round of our surveillance testingI am pleased to report that out of 479 tests conducted this week, we had zero positive results. Again, this is a testament to how seriously we are all taking the guidelines, how well Vermont has been executing its plan, and how much everyone wants to be on campus.  

The COVID communications we send out are an opportunity for us to share important updates, newsand reminders, and clarify guidelines and information. Below are some important clarifications on guidelines and information that we have previously communicated: 

  • If you have more than four tests over the course of the semester, you will not be charged any additional testing fees. Most students will have at least four tests over the course of the semester. Some may have a few more because of symptomatic testing. The comprehensive fee for testing this semester will cover any necessary additional tests beyond the scheduled surveillance tests.  
  • Visiting friends in other residences. Students living in residence halls can visit other students in residence halls but cannot visit townhouse residents at this time. Still, we ask that everyone continue to limit their visits. For more information, visit the FAQ under the category “dining and residential life.” 
  • Venturing off campus. Due to the low rate of COVID in the area, and our good test results to date, students who wish to leave campus to explore the local area may do so, while exercising great caution. You MUST avoid groups, wear a mask, maintain social distance, and avoid events where you may find yourself in a crowd and unable to maintain at least six feet of distance from others.  
  • Travel out of stateStudents may not leave the state and return to campus. 
  • Health affirmation reminder. Please continue to complete your health affirmation each day, including on the weekends.  
  • Varsity Athletic practices. Varsity teams are following strict safety protocols dictated by the NCAA, Northeast-10 Conference, and State of Vermont, under the supervision of Purple Knights coaches and sports medicine staff. As they safely and successfully move through the three-phase program, they have been approved to practice in groups larger than 10.   

Thank you for doing everything you can to keep the community and yourselves safe and healthy. If you have questions, many of your answers can be found on the Return to Campus web pages, which are accessible from any page of the website using the link at the very top of the page. You can also find a dashboard there with testing results updated weekly 

Stay well,  

Dawn Ellinwood
Vice President for Student Affairs 

Updated September 11, 2020

Dear Students,

Working together as a community, we’ve reached the next phase of our return to campus. As you read in the Daily Digest, we are beginning our COVID surveillance testing protocol next week. Approximately 500 students with last names between A and F are scheduled for testing on Tuesday, September 15, with approximately 1/3 of the student body being tested in each of the following weeks. You can find the specific times and days for all future surveillance tests by logging into the portal and checking under “Announcements.”

The College also continues to do symptomatic testing of students who report that they are not feeling well. This past week we tested seven students and those results all came back negative. We remind you all to continue to complete and submit a Health Affirmation each morning, even on Saturday and Sunday. Not only is it a State of Vermont mandate, but it is an important reminder for all of us to think about how we are feeling before engaging with the rest of the community.

On the topic of community, there are still several ways to get involved and have fun, despite this fall’s guidelines.

  • The Student Government Association is organizing the fall Club Fair, which they hope to conduct outside later this month. It is a great opportunity for everyone, especially new students, to learn about the over 40 clubs on campus and engage with each other around a shared interest. Watch for more information!
  • The Adventure Sports Center has a full calendar of trips available. From kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, and more, there are plenty of ways to explore the outdoors around us, maybe learn a new skill, and have fun with other students.
  • Review the event calendar for upcoming lectures and events that interest you.

We are proud of the effort everyone is putting into maintaining these healthy outcomes going forward. Vermont as a whole is in a very good position. In Governor Scott’s press conference today, Vermont Commissioner of Health Dr. Mark Levine remarked how well the state is doing and that the CDC has called Vermont’s contact tracing program the best in the country.

Whether you venture out to the Natural Area adjacent to campus, or just bring your lunch to a picnic table in the sun, we hope you get outside and enjoy your weekend.

Stay safe and healthy,
The Office of Marketing and Communications

Updated September 6, 2020

From President Sterritt – Testing Day Results

Dear Saint Michael’s family,

I am very happy to let you know that we have received the test results for the 1409 students whom we tested on Friday, and there were no positive cases!

Seven results were deemed to be “invalid,” which can occur for a variety of reasons and is to be expected when conducting a large number of tests. Those tests will be repeated. The type of test we are using, a nasal swab RT-PCR assay test, is considered highly accurate and used by the University of Vermont Medical Center, as well as numerous Boston hospitals and clinics, and over 120 colleges and universities. More information about our testing and The Broad Institute can be found here: https://www.broadinstitute.org/coronavirus/covid-19.

These terrific results are a tremendous testament to the power of community. I applaud each and every student and each and every faculty and staff member for taking precautions both for themselves and for every member of the Saint Michael’s family. You have demonstrated great care for one another and a great sense of social responsibility.

Needless to say, we must not let our guard down. A number of schools started their semesters with few or no cases only to experience a spike in cases after members of their community did not maintain their vigilance. We love having our students here on campus, and we very much want to keep it that way. Please help us to make that a reality! We are still doing battle with this virus. I know that everyone is tired of the extra steps we all have to take in our daily lives and the restrictions placed upon us, but the virus is not tired of infecting people. We will not, therefore, be relaxing any of our policies, and it is imperative that every student and every faculty and staff member abide by them.

In the event that future testing reveals any positive cases, we have strict protocols in place to isolate those individuals. We have been planning all summer for this eventuality. Our careful planning and everyone’s continued adherence to our policies are the means by which we will be able to continue our important work.

I thank you all wholeheartedly for all that you have done to bring about these reassuring results.

We must stay strong and keep up our vigilance at all times. Do the Knight Thing!

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated September 4, 2020

From President Sterritt – Testing Day Updates

Dear Saint Michael’s Students,

We are thrilled to have you back on campus. It is a joy to see the semester well underway, albeit in these most unusual circumstances. I have been gratified to see that, with very few exceptions, you all are doing a great job abiding by the guidelines of mask wearing, distancing, and other requirements. Thank you so much for all that you are doing to keep our community safe. We get one chance at this, and it requires us all to adhere to the guidelines—especially over this weekend, while we await test results.

As I write this message, the last of over 1,400 students are completing their testing. By all accounts, the process has gone smoothly, and students have made their way back to their classes with the least amount of disruption possible. As you were told during your test, you can expect to receive results via an email from the Broad Institute. If your test result is positive, you will also hear from the Vermont Department of Health and our Bergeron Wellness Center (BWC). In that situation, the BWC and members of Student Life will provide you with information about your isolation housing, how and when you will be transported to it, and what you should bring with you. Students who test positive will be required to isolate until they are deemed recovered by the BWC. Typically, that will mean 10 days after a positive result (for asymptomatic individuals) or meeting several health criteria and waiting at least 10 days from the onset of any symptoms.

I want to stress something about positive test results. We must not stigmatize anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. They deserve, and will receive, our full support to become healthy again. A positive test can be the result of factors outside of the individual’s control and can even mean that the person is not actually contagious, but positive because the test’s sensitivity has picked up that the student had COVID-19, even up to 90 days ago.

I have been impressed by the creativity of some of the masks I have seen on campus. From our purple and gold and Athletics colors, to your favorite movies, you’re showing your St. Mike’s pride and your personalities. There are so many kinds of masks that can be worn and that provide safety for both the wearer and people around them. I encourage you to use breathable, 2-ply, washable cloth masks. Most importantly, please wear your mask correctly over your nose and mouth.

Thank you again for all that you are doing to keep yourself and others safe. I know it is not easy, but the better we are at this right now, the greater the opportunity for keeping our students on campus for a successful fall semester and a more normal spring semester.

Stay well and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated August 21, 2020

From President Sterritt – Community Commitment Reminder and Updates

Dear Saint Michael’s students,

I am excited as I write to you today, a little over a week from the day that most of you will arrive on campus. I expect that you’re excited too, and perhaps also a bit anxious. That is understandable. Let me assure you, we have done the hard work to prepare for a successful on-campus experience this fall. We are very lucky to be in a state that has managed the pandemic extremely well. We are also fortunate to be a part of a community that cares deeply for all of its members. It is time, now more than ever, to show that care.

We are heartbroken to see the stories that you’re seeing in the news. While some colleges and universities have had successful starts, others have welcomed students back to their campus, only to have to reverse course due to students’ irresponsible decisions, lack of surveillance testing, or poor planning. It is tragic to watch. Seniors hoping desperately to finish their last academic year in-person with their classmates and professors are now wondering whether their year will end like the class of 2020’s. We cannot let that happen at Saint Michael’s. The last thing we want to do is to send our students home again.

I am confident that we are better positioned than almost any other school to be successful, and we are watching and learning from the experiences of others. One thing is clear. You have a very serious responsibility to fulfill and an enormous role to play in our ability to keep our campus open this semester. I write to you now to tell you that we will respond to any infraction of the health and safety guidelines with the utmost severity. We must.

You have made it clear that you want the traditional Saint Michael’s College experience, and we want you to have that experience. The only way to achieve that is to live out the commitment we are making to one another, especially in your first weeks on campus. It is imperative that our first few weeks go well. Until we have test results back and our community has completely adopted all the new protocols, there will not be any College-sanctioned trips off campus, and students will be asked to remain on campus unless going off campus is absolutely essential. Gatherings of more than 10 people are strictly prohibited. After we see how our community is doing, and as we assess the situation in Vermont, we may be able to relax some restrictions provided we are still abiding by the Governor’s guidelines.

I urge those of you who have not yet read and signed the Community Commitment to please do it now. You will not be permitted to move in without acknowledging that you have read it and agree to abide by its requirements.

We welcomed 41 students to campus last Saturday who came to us from around the country and around the world for their 14-day campus quarantine. They all received COVID-19 tests, and I am very pleased to report that the test results were all negative. We are committed to transparency and will share weekly results of our testing on the Return to Campus web pages. These results are very encouraging, and it is also promising that the positivity rates among students arriving at other Vermont institutions are very low.

We have also updated information about dining this fall. You can find that information under Life on Campus, under the heading Dining on Campus. You will find that we have expanded hours for Café Cheray, posted new hours for Einstein’s and the Grill, and explained how seating will work in the Green Mountain Dining Room in Alliot.

We’ve got this, Saint Michael’s! With this community we all love, we will persevere and show what we Purple Knights are made of. We look forward to seeing you all very soon. Stay safe and be well.

Sincerely,
Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated August 14, 2020

From Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services – additional information on testing.

Saint Michael’s College is implementing a testing program in partnership with the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Broad Institute. Students will get tested either shortly after arrival and again 7 days after that (for those coming August 15 to quarantine on campus), or 5-7 days after arrival, having quarantined at home (for those arriving the weekend of August 29-30), as well as during assigned other times throughout the fall semester. Pay CLOSE attention to these assigned times and KEEP your testing appointments. They are MANDATORY!!

The test that will be used is a polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) which is able to detect the virus rapidly with high sensitivity and specificity.

All students will come to the Tarrant Sports Center to test. Your faculty know that many scheduled tests may conflict with your class schedule commitment, and they are willing to waive the attendance so you can go to your test time. Please wear your facial covering and bring your student ID with you.

After checking in with registration, you will be given your Q-tip swab and test vial so you can perform your own test in front of a medical professional. This test is one where you will insert the Q-tip swab just inside the outermost part of your nostrils. It should not be uncomfortable. You will swab and put the Q-tip in the vial for shipping. The vial has a bar code on it with your personal information necessary for test results. Watch this video from the Broad Institute that illustrates the testing procedure.

All test results will be kept in a confidential portal. Results will be shared with the nurse practitioners at Bergeron Wellness Center, the Vermont Department of Health, and you. You will know of results within 48 hours or so, and either get an email from one of the nurse practitioners or from Broad – so be sure to check your email! You will be given a link for your own access to Broad for your results. You will need to confirm your date of birth, SMC email, and zip code. NOTE: all zip codes will be the one for SMC which is 05439.  If your result is positive or there was a problem with the test requiring a retest, you will be contacted by one of the NPs.

If you test positive, even if you have no symptoms, you will be asked to stay in a single room, which could be your own room if you already have a single or it could be another single room on campus. You will be asked to remain there until it is deemed safe for you to move about the campus again. Food and supplies will be delivered to you. You will have daily health check-ins and faculty will work with you around your coursework. Expect a call from a Vermont Department of Health representative to assess with whom you have been in recent contact and how to alert them.

Together with the frequent use of staying in small groups, wearing your facial covering and frequently washing your hands, surveillance testing allows us to quickly identify virus on campus and prevent its spread to others. We want to support all students through this process, and we are counting on you to Do the Knight Thing and keep our campus as safe as we can!

Updated August 10, 2020

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Students,

We are so looking forward to having you on campus soon. As you know, the State of Vermont has handled the virus very well, and this, together with our own extensive and detailed preparations, has enabled us to continue with our plan for you to return to campus shortly.

We have additional information to share with you. It includes a reminder about quarantine requirements, a new, innovative program called the COVID Corps that will expand educational and experiential opportunities for students this fall. We also have important information about the Community Commitment that you are required to read and acknowledge before coming to campus, and updates about academics and student life.

Quarantine Requirements: home quarantine starts 8/15 for many

Students returning from certain counties will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days prior to coming to campus. I want to remind all students and their families to check the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development website to determine whether they are returning from one of these counties. If you are coming from a county that is shown in yellow or red, you are required to quarantine at home starting 8/15. Please plan accordingly prior to coming to campus. If you have questions about quarantine, please contact housing@smcvt.edu.

New Opportunity: The COVID Corps

We are pleased to announce an innovative program, the COVID Corps, created in a collaboration between faculty and staff to provide students with additional educational and experiential opportunities. Students will have the chance to work and learn alongside faculty and professionals engaged in meeting the unprecedented health, educational, social, and logistical challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students in the Corps can take courses containing relevant community-engaged learning projects, work with campus organizations helping with COVID-related endeavors, and/or pursue a two-credit COVID Corps practicum course that will be offered. Details of the program are being finalized and we will share more about it in the coming days.

Community Commitment Acknowledgement

Every student returning to campus is required to read and acknowledge the Community Commitment before arriving (use your St. Mike’s username and password to access it). We also ask that you share it with your parents or guardians so that they too understand what is expected of you while on campus. The sharable version can be found on the Return to Campus web pages. You will be among members of our community who either have compromised health or live with a person who does. Their health and safety, and our ability to be on campus this semester, depend on us all taking this very seriously. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that we have a shared responsibility for the health and safety of our community, and we must all do the right thing.

Academic Updates

All students can now view their schedules on the KnightVision System, including the delivery mode: Virtual, Mixed Model, In-Person Hybrid, and In-Person. Please pay attention to information sent by the associate dean’s office regarding drop/add during open registration.

Some students, for personal or health-related reasons, have requested permission to study remotely for the fall semester. If you need to remain off campus for the entire semester but still want to take courses remotely, please notify the Associate Dean of the College by the end of the day Friday, August 14 at OfficeoftheAssociateDeanoftheCollege@smcvt.edu.  Students who make this determination after that date may have more difficulty working out all the details to accomplish their educational goals. As always, we will work with students whose circumstances change suddenly.

Student Life Updates

For returning students, this fall semester you will have opportunities to participate in many of the activities you have come to love, and our new students will still be able to experience many of the activities they have heard so much about. For health and safety reasons, some activities are being modified and some new ones introduced. Those that cannot take place have been suspended until further notice. You can learn more about these activities, as well as availability of facilities and offices from the Return to Campus web pages. Please visit the “information for students” section, which is updated regularly with new information.

Enjoy these beautiful days of summer. Today in Colchester, it is a comfortable 81 degrees, with blue skies and a gentle breeze. Have a wonderful weekend. Be well and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated July 31, 2020

A Message for New Students from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President of Student Affairs

Dear Students,

I hope you are all well and enjoying your summer. In preparation for your move-in on either August 15th (for quarantine on campus) or August 29th, we are sending this email to provide you with some additional information. Our goal during move-in is to make the process as efficient as possible, while providing for the safety of our students, their families, and those who work and live on campus.

Criteria to Come to Campus: You, as well as family members coming with you to campus, must meet the criteria below:

  • You, and at most two family members, have followed the guidelines provided for either the Non-Quarantine Cohort or the Home-State Quarantine Cohort.
  • If you fall into the Home-State Quarantine Cohort, you have self-quarantined and practiced social isolation strategies for at least two weeks prior to August 29.
  • No one in your household has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • You agree to wear a cloth or disposable mask, maintain social distancing while on campus, and practice preventative hygiene.
  • If you are flying to campus (or taking a train or bus), or need to make multiple hotel stops on the way to campus, you need to quarantine for 14 days in VT before coming to campus (hotel/Airbnb/private home), or by requesting a campus quarantine and move in on August 15 by submitting this formby August 4th.  
  • For students from the Quarantine Cohort who have requested move-in on August 15, we will be communicating with you directly about your schedules. 

Length of Stay on Campus for Family Members and Roommate Times:

All new students will have assigned move-in times.  We ask that you adhere to the following schedule as much as possible. We are not able to accommodate requests to arrive early.  In the event that you will arrive later than your scheduled time or need to arrive the following day, please email Housing@smcvt.edu
The schedule for arriving to campus for move-in on August 29 is as follows:

  • 9-10:30am – New Students from VT
  • 10:30am–12pm – New Students from NH, ME, & NY
  • 12pm–1:30pm – New Students from MA
  • 1:30pm–3pm – New Students from all other States

Family members are expected to depart campus at the end of the day.
No family member will be allowed to stay overnight on campus.
New commuter students living off campus are welcome to come to campus at any point during the day and are invited to participate in all Fall Orientation activities.
For students from the Quarantine Cohort who have requested move-in on August 15, we will be communicating with you directly about your schedules.

Roommates: We encourage you to reach out to your roommate ahead of time. In the event that you both have the same move-in time, and are coming to campus with a family member or two, you will need to limit the number of people in the room at the same time. You or your roommate can email Housing@smcvt.edu to request a different move-in time.

Travel: We strongly recommend that all who are traveling to campus from other states become familiar with the COVID-19 status and any travel restrictions imposed by the states you will be traveling through to come to Vermont. More information can be found at the Vermont Department of Health website and their page on Cross State Travel Information

Arriving to Campus/Parking: On August 29th, campus will be one way in and one way out.  When you arrive to campus, you need to enter campus through the Hoehl entrance and exit through the Ross/Tarrant entrance. (i.e., if coming from Route 89, please do not take the left into campus by Ross as that entrance will be closed for entering traffic. Instead, please stay in the right lane to enter via the jug handle entrance by Hoehl). As you enter campus, you will see that there is a tent that will be staffed by College Staff members eager to greet you. You will receive a parking pass to place on the dashboard of your car while on campus as well as other important information.

Orientation and Fall Activities: Planning for Fall Orientation is well underway and members of the campus community cannot wait to welcome you!  The sessions will begin online on August 17th, with the first in-person orientation activity on opening day, August 29th at 4:30pm. Campus representatives from various departments will be on hand from 9am-3pm to answer any questions. We are also looking forward to sharing more about the student life experiences you can expect in your first semester on campus. You will have opportunities, with appropriate social distancing, to take in live music and movies outdoors, go apple picking, go mountain bike riding, and more. We’ll share more about that in the coming days.

A Message from the Student Financial Services Team:We have created a Welcome Guide where you can review the annual billing and financial aid cycle, learn to navigate the portal, find out how to assign a proxy to provide access to a family member, and much more. We know this year has presented new financial challenges for many families. We will work with you to be as flexible as possible and to ensure that you have all the information you need.

Thank you for your attention to all these details. We are looking forward to having everyone back and especially welcoming all our new students to their new home away from home.

Sincerely,
Dawn Ellinwood, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Updated July 31, 2020

A Message for Returning Students from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President of Student Affairs

Dear Students,

I hope you are all well and enjoying your summer. In preparation for your move-in on either August 15th (for quarantine on campus) or August 30th, we are sending this email to provide you with some additional information. Our goal during move-in is to make the process as efficient as possible, while providing for the safety of our students, their families and those who work and live on campus. Unlike in past years, in order to comply with the Governor’s Health and Safety Guidelines, we will not have the flexibility to allow for students to move to campus prior to August 30th.

Criteria to Come to Campus:  You, as well as family members coming with you to campus, must meet the criteria below:

  • You, and at most two family members, have followed the guidelines provided for either the Non-Quarantine Cohort or the Home-State Quarantine Cohort.
  • If you fall into the Home-State Quarantine Cohort, you have self-quarantined and practiced social isolation strategies for at least two weeks prior to August 30.
  • No one in your household has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • You agree to wear a cloth or disposable mask, maintain social distancing while on campus, and practice preventative hygiene.
  • If you are flying to campus (or taking a train or bus), or need to make multiple hotel stops on the way to campus, you need to quarantine for 14 days in VT before coming to campus (hotel/Airbnb/private home), or by requesting a campus quarantine and move in on August 15 by submitting this form by August 4th.
  • For students from the Quarantine Cohort who have requested move-in on August 15, we will be communicating with you directly about your schedules.

Length of Stay on Campus for Family Members and Roommate Times: 

All returning students will have assigned move-in times.  We ask that you adhere to the following schedule as much as possible. We are not able to accommodate requests to arrive early. In the event that you will arrive later than your scheduled time or need to arrive the following day, please email Housing@smcvt.edu

The schedule for arriving to campus for move-in on August 30 is as follows:

  • 9-10:30am – Returning Students from VT
  • 10:30am – 12pm – Returning Students from NH, ME, & NY
  • 12pm – 1:30pm – Returning Students from MA
  • 1:30pm – 3pm – Returning Students from all other States

Family members are expected to depart campus at the end of the day
No family member will be allowed to stay overnight on campus.
For students from the Quarantine Cohort who have requested move-in on August 15, we will be communicating with you directly about your schedules.

Roommates: We encourage you to reach out to your roommate ahead of time. In the event that you both have the same move-in time, and are coming to campus with a family member or two, you will need to limit the number of people in the room at the same time. You or your roommate can email Housing@smcvt.edu to request a different move-in time.
Travel: We strongly recommend that all who are traveling to campus from other states become familiar with the COVID-19 status and any travel restrictions imposed by the states you will be traveling through to come to Vermont. More information can be found at the Vermont Department of HealthCross State Travel Information.

Arriving to Campus/Parking:  On August 3oth, you may arrive to your housing location.  Staff will be located in each area to assist with keys and information:

  • Alumni/Aubin:  Outside of Alumni Hall (between Alumni and Ryan Halls)
  • Cashman/Pontigny/Canterbury: Outside of Pontigny Hall
  • Townhouses/RH4/ Hodson:  Outside of International Commons

Planning for Fall Activities:  We are also looking forward to sharing more about the student life experiences you can expect during this semester.  You will have opportunities, with appropriate social distancing, to go mountain bike riding, take in live music and movies outdoors, theater, and more.  Additionally, working closely with community partners, MOVE is excited to be able to offer service opportunities this fall which will be new or modified for health and safety protocols. We’ll share more about that in the coming days.

A Message from the Student Financial Services Team:  We have created a Welcome Guide where you can learn about the annual billing and financial aid cycle, how to navigate the portal, assign a proxy to provide access to a family member, and much more. We know this year has presented new financial challenges for many families. We will work with you to be as flexible as possible and to ensure that you have all the information you need.

Thank you for your attention to all these details. We are looking forward to having everyone back to their home away from home.

Sincerely,
Dawn Ellinwood
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Update from July 16, 2020

From the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Dean of the Faculty

Dear Students,

A large committee of both faculty and co-academic colleagues under the leadership of the Dean of the Faculty, Professor Tara Natarajan, has been actively preparing for your arrival on campus for the fall semester. We have developed thorough plans and models for faculty to prepare their courses for teaching and learning, ensuring each class is innovative, interactive, and rigorous.

Over the past weeks, this work has included immersive professional development, specific recording demonstrations and training on Canvas, the College’s e-learning platform, and two days of intensive workshops on various pedagogies.

Our faculty are working in response to evolving information about classroom safety, as well as the recent guidance from the State of Vermont regarding higher education. Our plans are based on the most recent requirements for reduced classroom capacity, according to physical distancing guidelines of everyone being six feet from one another.

We are writing today to provide you with an update on our preparations and to help you envision your experience this Fall.

  • Seating in all classrooms has been rearranged with 6 feet between every person in the classroom, with extra space for the professor at the front.
  • Labs, studios, theatre, outdoor spaces such as the farm and natural area, have all determined new seating/occupancy arrangements.
  • In order to accommodate some larger classes meeting in-person, we will be opening up large event spaces for classes such as in the Pomerleau building, the Farrell room in St. Edmunds, and the Hoehl Welcome Center.
  • Despite adding new spaces for classroom use, we will not have enough space to deliver all classes in-person, and so classes will be taught in three overarching categories:
    • Fully remote
    • In-person
    • Hybrid

Fully Remote Classes

  • Most fully remote classes will combine both highly interactive synchronous class meetings via Zoom, and also Canvas to post all materials, hold online discussions, collect assignments, and more.
  • Students will still have access to a great deal of one-on-one and small group interaction with professors, either electronically, or in-person via outdoor meetings or in larger rooms or public spaces.

In-person Classes

  • These classes will be taught in a traditional format, in the classroom, with all appropriate safety measures in place.

Hybrid Classes

  • Many in-person classes will be able to accommodate only some of the students in-person at any given time. Therefore, faculty may employ group rotation models such that group A will be in person one day of the week and group B will be remote, and then reverse on another day. Faculty will use the video conference technology Echo 360 or Conference Technology Zoom to facilitate the participation and learning of students who are not in-person on a given day.
  • Some faculty might teach a form of “hybrid” class where students will meet in-person once a week to engage in active discussions of the material, and then other content will be delivered via recorded Zoom, Canvas and Echo technologies.

We are finalizing class spaces this week and next, and we hope to be able to communicate with you soon regarding which of your classes will be in each format.

  • Faculty office hours, and one-on-one student meetings will not be held in faculty offices but will be held remotely, in-person outside, or an indoor meeting space larger than our typical faculty offices.
  • All science labs, music, theatre, and art faculty have been creative problem-solvers and have reimagined their courses to be taught safely, in-person as much as possible, using Vermont’s beautiful outdoor setting whenever feasible.
  • All faculty, staff, and students will be required to wear masks, and some faculty might wear face shields as additional protection.

Teaching in times of Covid-19 means that we plan our courses to be flexible, nimble, and adaptable. We are grateful to our faculty, who have been incredibly committed over the summer in planning for this new environment. You can read more about our preparations on our news feed. We are also grateful to you, our students, for your patience in the face of uncertainty. Be assured, we are sincerely looking forward to your return and ready to engage your minds in exciting ways.

If you have a general question about academics in the fall, we are constantly updating our Return to Campus site. If you don’t find an answer, please submit your question using either the FAQ form, or the returntocampus@smcvt.edu email. If you have an individual academic concern, please email OfficeoftheDeanoftheFaculty@smcvt.edu.

 

Update from July 9, 2020

Dear students,

As you know, our preparations for the fall have been focused on two priorities, the health and safety of the Saint Michael’s family, and your experience; both in terms of academics and life outside the classroom. I am writing to you today to share more details on our plans for the health of our community.  Before you arrive on campus, we will be sending you an email with a link to a Community Commitment and ask you to acknowledge that you have read and agree to abide by it. The Community Commitment will outline what is expected of you while you are on campus, whether you are a residential or commuter student. You can review much of what will appear in the final Community Commitment here. We invite you to review it carefully as it includes items you will need to have with you when you arrive, and you will be held accountable for your behavior and actions on campus. To reiterate some details around moving back to campus, please understand the following:

  • If you are traveling to campus by bus, train, airplane or another multi-passenger vehicle, you will be required to quarantine in Vermont for 2 weeks prior to the start of classes by the State of Vermont.  If you are traveling by personal vehicle from a county with more than 400 cases per million as of August 1st and are not able to drive directly to Vermont with limited stops, you will also need to quarantine in Vermont for 2 weeks prior to the start of classes.  You can stay on campus (in a designated location, not your fall housing assignment), in a VT hotel, or a VT private home to quarantine.  If moving to campus, your move in day will be August 15, 2020.  If you are planning to come to campus to quarantine 2 weeks prior to the start of classes, please complete this form: Planning to Quarantine on Campus form.  You will receive a College administered COVID-19 test upon arrival and again on day 7 after arrival. Quarantine may end for those who receive a negative test result after the day 7 test.
  • If you are traveling from a county that has 400 cases per million or more as of August 1, 2020 (i.e., Shown as red or yellow on the map found here: Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development ) and are traveling in your personal vehicle and planning on very limited quick stops for gas, you are required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to arriving at St. Michael’s College by the State of Vermont.  Self-quarantining at home includes staying home, social distancing and wearing a mask as needed.  Your move in day will be August 29 for new students only and August 30 for returning students. You must either receive a College administered COVID-19 test upon arrival or in your home state within 48-hours of coming to campus and travel directly to campus. You will be tested again on day 7 after arrival.
  • If you are traveling from a county that has less than 400 cases per million or more as of August 1, 2020 (i.e., Shown as green on the map found here: Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development) and are traveling in your personal vehicle and planning on very limited quick stops for gas, you may arrive to campus without quarantining prior to arriving.  Your move in day will be August 29 for new students only and August 30 for returning students.  You will receive a College-administered COVID-19 test on day 7 after arrival on campus.

We have had many questions about the surveillance Covid-19 testing on campus.  We are required by the State of Vermont to test each student throughout the fall semester randomly. We are using the Broad Institute from Massachusetts to provide the testing materials and results. Broad is not able to bill private insurance for these tests.

As always, we look forward to your return to campus. Please send any questions to housing@smcvt.edu.

All the best,

Dawn

Dawn Ellinwood, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Saint Michael’s College

Update from July 6, 2020

Dear members of the Saint Michael’s Community,

I know that you are all eager to learn more about our plans for welcoming you back to campus—I hear you and appreciate your patience as we worked through the complexities and as we awaited instructions from the Governor’s office. Now that we have received official word from the State, I want to provide you with the latest information on our planning as we prepare for the long-awaited moment when our students return, understanding that some details may still change as the situation with the virus continues to evolve and as any new requirements are released by the State.

In the weeks to come we will be sharing additional information about our plan to ensure that your experience on campus is rich and engaging despite the requirements that will make this semester a challenge for us all. In the period leading up to move-in we will continue to provide updates on our Return to Campus planning and links to new information on our website.

Our plan is rooted in the careful consideration of research and data coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and the Vermont Department of Health, consultation with peers in a variety of disciplines, and a careful review of the plans of other institutions of higher education. Throughout our research and planning, which has required countless hours of dedication, collaboration, and hard work by faculty, staff, and administrators across campus, we have maintained these guiding principles: that the health and safety of our community is of paramount importance, and that we ensure the continuity of high-quality academic instruction and student life experience and the mission of Saint Michael’s College.

While we all know that the fall semester will be like no other in the history of the College—or higher education, for that matter—I am confident that, thanks to the heart of our purple and gold community, we will persevere and succeed. United in our commitment to each other, we will continue our vital work together.

With that, I share these important updates:

Arriving on Campus

Move-in Schedule & Requirements
In response to the State requirements we just received, we have adjusted our planned schedule. The State of Vermont is requiring a quarantine period of 14 days for some students arriving from certain areas or via certain transportation methods. To adhere to these requirements, some students will be moving in on August 29 or 30, and other students will be moving in on August 15.

Non-quarantine cohort
Students traveling to Vermont from a non-quarantine county as identified by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development on August 1, who travel in a private vehicle without making a prolonged stop, may move in without completing a quarantine. For first-year and new transfer students meeting these criteria, move-in will take place on Saturday, August 29. Returning students meeting these criteria will move in on Sunday, August 30.

Home-state quarantine cohort
Students who will be coming from a quarantine county as identified by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development on August 1, and will be traveling directly to campus in a private vehicle without making a prolonged stop (avoid gatherings such as restaurants, limit gas stops, if overnight travel is required—reduce social contacts), must quarantine at home for 14 days immediately prior to traveling to Vermont. For first-year and new transfer students meeting these criteria, move-in will take place on Saturday, August 29. Returning students meeting these criteria will move in on Sunday, August 30.

Campus quarantine cohort
Students traveling to Vermont with people from multiple households, via bus, rail or commercial airlines, must quarantine in a specified location on campus or local accommodation for 14 days upon arrival to Vermont. These new and returning students, if they chose on-campus quarantine, will move in on Saturday, August 15.

Students who have questions about move-in may contact housing@smcvt.edu

Campus move-in procedures
Students should minimize the number of individuals who come with them for move-in. We recommend only one guest, and no more than two are permitted. These guests must meet the State of Vermont travel guidelines and adhere to all campus health and safety protocols while on campus. Student orientation leaders and staff will be available to help students with move-in procedures. New students will experience Saint Michael’s traditional enthusiastic (and loud!) welcome. More information about move-in procedures will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Quarantine & Testing
As defined under “Move-in schedule and requirements,” students identified within the “non-quarantine cohort” will receive a College-administered COVID-19 test on day 7 after their arrival on campus.

Students in the “home-state quarantine cohort” must either receive a College administered COVID-19 test upon arrival or in their home state within 48-hours of coming to campus and travel directly to campus. These students will be tested again on day 7 after arrival.

Students in the “quarantine cohort” will be required to undergo a period of campus quarantine of 14 days after arriving on campus. This cohort will receive a College administered COVID-19 test upon arrival and again on day 7 after arrival. Quarantine may end for those students who receive a negative test result after the day 7 test.

Additionally, all students may receive periodic COVID-19 tests throughout the semester. Tests will also be administered in the event of symptoms or if a student comes into contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19.

A comprehensive COVID-19 testing fee of $150 will be assessed to all students to support the cost of testing.

Academics

Academic Calendar
In order to help maintain a healthy community and accommodate the State of Vermont’s new quarantine policies, the modified Academic Calendar will help to minimize the flow of students to and from campus.

First day of classes: Monday, August 31
Last day of on-campus instruction: Tuesday, November 24
Students return home
Thanksgiving Holiday: November 25-29
Instruction resumes remotely: November 30-December 11
Final exams administered remotely: December 14-18
Spring semester start: TBD
Note: The traditional October break will be replaced by two mid-week no class respite days with fun and relaxing activities during the fall semester.

The Academic Experience
Please rest assured that, while we will be making the necessary adjustments to indoor classroom space in order to adhere to distancing guidelines, we will still be providing the rich, personal, and thoughtful education that distinguishes Saint Michael’s College. That said, this semester will require flexibility, patience, and adaptability from all of us. This may mean that some classes or labs will be in-person indoors, some may meet outdoors when feasible, some will be virtual in real time, and some will be a combination of these modalities. We are actively working to adapt and ensure that courses will be fulfilling and achieve the educational objectives the faculty have set forth.

Students who must study remotely this fall semester, due to personal or health concerns, should contact Associate Dean Tim Mackin at tmackin@smcvt.edu regarding the availability of appropriate remote courses. Tuition will not be adjusted, but these students will not be assessed a housing or dining fee.

Life on Campus

Housing
New incoming students’ housing assignments will be released on July 27 to allow more time for the Student Life team to ensure adherence to new policies. Student Life will be providing additional details regarding residence life in the coming weeks.

Dining
Dining services is finalizing a plan for ensuring a safe and high-quality dining experience. This is likely to require distancing, possible assigned schedules for dining, and delivering of meals to residence halls as necessary for students required to quarantine. Washing hands and wearing face coverings at all times except when eating will be required.

Working on campus
Faculty and staff have been provided with return to work guidelines issued from Human Resources. That information will also be posted to the Return to Campus web pages in the coming week.

Our Shared Community Commitment – “Do the Knight Thing”
Students, faculty, staff, and administrators will be required to read and sign a community commitment that acknowledges an understanding of the health and safety requirements, and a commitment to abide by them. It will also ask everyone to acknowledge that despite everyone’s best efforts, the College cannot guarantee that individuals do not get sick. Our shared commitment to each other to take this situation very seriously will, however, help us stay healthy and allow us all to continue our important work. This community commitment will be sent out to everyone prior to arrival.

As a community we must also commit to understanding all we can about COVID-19 and the devastating toll it is taking. We have a shared responsibility to educate ourselves about its disproportionate impact on people of color around the world, within our society, and within the Saint Michael’s family.

Required Health and Safety Practice
Maintaining the health and safety of the community is everyone’s responsibility. With this in mind, the College will require all students, faculty, staff, and administrators to adhere to all health and safety guidelines related to maintaining good hygiene and practicing physical distancing and other protocols, which include:

Maintaining a health log: Students, faculty, staff, and administrators will be asked to self-monitor daily for symptoms and maintain a health log. This is likely to require taking your temperature daily, recording it, and affirming that you are symptom-free via an online tool before leaving your room or home.

Wearing a facial covering or mask: All Saint Michael’s College community members (students, faculty, staff, administrators, the Edmundite community, contracted employees) and its campus visitors must do everything possible to limit the spread of Covid-19. Data show that 90-95% of the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via respiratory droplets. Since COVID-19 may be transmitted by someone who does not have symptoms, a facial covering helps you protect others, and is required on campus.

Arriving on campus with a “health kit”: Students should arrive on campus with items that will be required for maintaining the health and safety of themselves and the community. This should include 2-3 facial coverings/masks, a thermometer, hand sanitizer, and over-the-counter cold and fever reducing medication. Community members should also get a flu vaccine prior to returning to campus.

If you feel sick or become sick
Bergeron Wellness and counseling staff have a care plan in place and are prepared to coordinate services for students who test positive and require a period of isolation. For moderate symptoms, the Bergeron Wellness Center and Student Life staff will check on you and provide for your care during any quarantine and recovery. Any student with serious symptoms will receive treatment at the UVM Medical Center.

Employees who feel sick should contact their primary healthcare provider, supervisor, or Human Resources before coming to work and consult the College’s PTO and time-off policies related to COVID-19.

Athletics
We are working on plans for a safe return to athletic activity, particularly for our fall sports, but we need to wait for final guidance from the State of Vermont, NCAA Division II, and the Northeast-10 Conference. We will provide updates when we have more information and direction.

Vulnerable members of the community
We understand that for some members of our community with health conditions that put them at more risk, being housed, working, and studying on campus may require additional considerations. The health, safety, and emotional well-being of our community members are at the center of our concerns. After consulting with their primary care provider, students who have special needs or concerns should contact the Office of Accessibility Services at amessuri@smcvt.edu to discuss the coming semester. Employees with particular concerns about returning to work should speak with their supervisor or contact Human Resources.

I am very grateful to all the faculty, staff, and administrators who are working assiduously, creatively, and compassionately to prepare for our students to have an engaging, fun, and fulfilling academic and student life experience. Together we will foster our sense of community and shared mission in new ways as we take care of one another. Be assured that we will be communicating with the entire community throughout the summer. Again, I thank you for your patience and ask that we all understand the need to be flexible and to adapt to the evolving situation which may dictate future changes to our best-laid plans.

In the meantime, please take very good care.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Update from May 29, 2020

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

We very much look forward to our return to in-person instruction and operations so that we can continue our crucial mission of educating our students and equipping them for the future. As we plan for returning to campus and welcoming our students, faculty, and staff to begin the fall semester, we will be communicating important information that will help everyone to prepare. I am writing today to let you know about progress we are making on important decisions and likely arrangements for returning to campus.

Earlier this spring, we organized cross-discipline working groups that include faculty, co-academic staff, and experts from The Bergeron Wellness Center, Public Safety, and many other areas across campus. They are spending untold hours meeting virtually to identify the issues, work on solutions, and provide recommendations to the Emergency Management Team and the Executive Policy Group. Their recommendations consider the latest information from health agencies and the Governor’s office, as well as information shared among peer institutions. Our priority with this work is to be prepared to provide for the safety of the community, while ensuring the quality and richness of our students’ experience as we continue to fulfill our mission of educating the next generation of great thinkers and leaders.

Based on the advice of many experts, an important aspect of conducting in-person teaching and learning on campus this fall will be to endeavor to establish a COVID-free community at the outset and then maintain the community’s health by minimizing and carefully managing the interactions members of the community have with individuals outside our community. Risk increases when large numbers of students leave a contained, managed campus environment to go to their home communities and then return, interact with one another, and again return to their home communities, especially at the outset of the typical flu season. Therefore, subject to approval from authorities in the State of Vermont, we are planning to modify the academic calendar in a way that will provide a full semester of in-person, on-campus instruction and limit large comings and goings of students after the semester has begun. There are many details on which we continue to work, but I understand and respect the need of all our constituencies to know where we are in our planning.

The proposed changes to the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar (subject to approval from the Governor of the State of Vermont and subject to continued monitoring of COVID-19) are as follows:

  • Early start—classes would begin on August 17, which is two weeks before classes would normally have started. This will mean earlier move-in dates, and we will communicate the details after we have coordinated plans with the State and other colleges in the area.
  • Early end—on Tuesday, November 24 in-person classes would end, and students would go home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Finals would be conducted that following week, remotely. Students would return to campus after Christmas break. This return date has not yet been established.
  • Modified October break—in order to minimize the risk of community members bringing the virus to campus from other places, our traditional multi-day mid-semester break, where students typically would leave campus, will not happen this fall. Instead, we are planning for two or more mid-week respite days with no classes, but we will ask that students not travel far from campus on those days.
  • Some evening and/or Saturday classes—this may be required to ensure that each of your courses is able to cover the required material and requisite number of hours.
  • Flexibility of teaching methods—we will be working to accommodate students who may need to isolate for a period and participate in their classes remotely.

In addition to this modified schedule, a safe return will require everyone to take measures before coming to campus and to make certain modifications to how we function within the community—when, where, and how we interact with each other—when on campus. Some of these measures will be determined by the College, and some will be determined by the Governor.

We realize that changes to the academic calendar and new requirements may bring up questions or present challenges for some of you. Please know that we will do our best to be flexible and work with each of you as we adjust to our new schedule. Flexibility will be a common theme over the course of the summer and fall as we may need to adjust to the pandemic and the recommendations of experts and health agencies.

Over the coming weeks, we will continue to keep you apprised as decisions are made. It will be important that everyone remain flexible in this very challenging situation. Please monitor your email and the Saint Michael’s College Health Alerts page for new information. If you should have an urgent question, please email ReturntoCampus@smcvt.edu.

Saint Michael’s College is dedicated to continuing to provide the transformative academic and student life experience that has served so many since 1904. Indeed, I would argue that there is no better time to dedicate oneself to education and to its fundamental role not only in imparting critical knowledge but also in fostering a better and more caring society. The world needs Saint Michael’s College graduates, and we are wholeheartedly committed to ensuring that our students will thrive.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Update from April 30, 2020

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Saint Michael’s community,

I hope this message finds you and your family safe and well. As we reach the end of the semester, please know that we feel your absence on our campus daily, and we look forward to the day when we can all be here, together, again.

With that goal in mind, I want to provide you with an update on our current thinking about the fall semester. The College believes that Vermont has managed the COVID-19 crisis well. After careful consideration, and with the caveat that decisions will be impacted by a number of outside forces, I am pleased to inform you that Saint Michael’s College expects to return to on-campus, in-person instruction in late August on our regular fall schedule. Doing so will necessitate appropriate mitigation strategies to which all members of the community will be required to adhere and particular strategies for any members of the community who are in high-risk groups.

We will continue to follow health agency recommendations to protect the health and safety of the entire community. The College is also developing contingency plans should state and federal health agencies dictate otherwise.

There are many details that remain to be worked out, and many questions we will be better positioned to answer as we continue to monitor the course of the virus through the spring and early summer, but I wanted to share our current intentions with you as soon as possible.

During this challenging time, I hope that you will find comfort in these plans as you prepare for our shared future. I look forward to welcoming you back to campus.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Update as of April 22, 2020

From Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services

In order to comply with current state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19 and to keep both our community safe and be good citizens, Saint Michael’s College is instituting the following policy. We ask that ALL members of the Saint Michael’s College community wear a cloth mask to cover your mouth and nose when entering and doing work in campus buildings and around others. Since COVID-19 may be transmitted by someone who does not have symptoms, a mask helps you protect others. Students alone in their residence/room, or employees in their own offices, please use your judgement whether to wear a mask or not in those spaces. If you work in shared offices, where others may also be working or using equipment or facilities in the area (photocopiers, restrooms, etc.), you should wear a cloth mask.

PLEASE do not use N95 masks that are greatly needed by our healthcare community and continue to practice social distancing.

If you do not have access to a cloth mask, students can find masks available in a basket outside of Student Life in Alliot Hall until supplies run out, and employees may contact Public Safety. There are a limited number of masks available, so request one only if you otherwise cannot obtain one.

Public Safety

802.654.2374

OfficeofPublicSafety@smcvt.edu

CDC information on using and maintaining cloth face masks.

https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-19-VDH-mask-guidance.pdf

Update from April 17, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear members of the Saint Michael’s College community,

I hope this email finds you all well.

Thank you all for your continued hard work and adaptability. I hope that the accommodations and changes to grading policies that were developed by faculty committees and the Office of Academic Affairs have helped to alleviate some stress and anxiety. It was the right thing to do, and I thank them for that.

Among the most difficult communications I have had to send during this crisis was the one letting our seniors and their families know that we had postponed Commencement. I am writing today to share some information about how we plan to celebrate the great class of 2020, to honor them, and to showcase their academic accomplishments. We believe that these plans offer us the best opportunity both to celebrate virtually on the original May 10 date and to provide an opportunity for an in-person celebration on campus at a future date.

Working with members of the Commencement Committee, student leaders reached out to the senior class to assess what was most important for us to retain in any rescheduled Commencement. The response was clear. Seniors expressed that:

  • they want to be together again, on campus, celebrating over a period of days;
  • they and their families would like to experience some of the formal elements of the Commencement celebration;
  • and they want the ability to stay on campus.

Based on that input, the Commencement Committee eliminated the option of a summer 2020 event, because of the risk of having to postpone again, as social distancing is still likely to be the recommendation of health authorities. Looking beyond the summer, the only other period in which we could host the event and house the senior class on campus would be June of 2021. Please know that if there were any way to have it sooner, we would. The Commencement Committee is now starting the planning for that event and will be sharing information as it takes shape. I am excited that we are able to offer an in-person ceremony. Our seniors deserve it.

We all agreed that May 10, 2020 is also an important landmark and should not go by without some event or acknowledgement. So, working with faculty and staff from the Commencement Committee, student leaders are helping to put together a virtual commencement for May 10, one that we can all experience at the same time “together.” We hope that you will have your caps and gowns by then. Your diplomas will be mailed to you later in May, once the Registrar’s office has processed grades under the new system. This tribute to our seniors will give us all a chance to share a moment in real time as you become official graduates of Saint Michael’s College.

In the coming days we will be sharing more information about the plans for the virtual commencement and providing you ways in which to invite anyone with whom you wish to share this milestone. In the meantime, please save and hold the morning of May 10.

Academic Symposium is another event that we agreed must be celebrated. As many of you know, it is a time when students from all different disciplines present their research projects in spaces all over campus over the course of several days. It is truly a time when the College shines bright with the light of our brilliant students. The Undergraduate Research Committee, led by Professor David Heroux of the Chemistry Department, has been working closely with the Office of Information Technology, and I am thrilled to let you know that Academic Symposium is happening, albeit, remotely. From Wednesday, April 22 – Saturday, April 25, more than 100 students will be participating in the Academic Symposium in one of three formats:  via a pre-recorded video, live via Zoom Session, or by presenting ePosters during our normally scheduled poster sessions on Saturday the 25th. We are all excited to experience and learn about our students’ research, scholarship, and creative achievements. You will be receiving more information about the Symposium and links for where to find student presentations in the coming days.

I look forward to celebrating our students at the Academic Symposium, during our virtual Commencement, and ultimately together again in person, on campus. I know that a question on everyone’s mind is when will the College resume in-person instruction and operations? While we can’t predict the timeframe with regard to the course the coronavirus will take, we have begun to discuss scenarios for how to return to in-person functions. In determining both the “how” and the “when,” we will employ the same careful assessment and deliberation that we have used in addressing the initial emergency, and we will be guided by medical and scientific information at every stage of the decision-making process. We will also keep you apprised as decisions are made.

In the meantime, I wish you all the very, very best in these challenging times. Please continue to practice social distancing and to take precautions to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities. We miss our students very much, and we all look forward with a great sense of excitement to the day when we can welcome everyone safely back to our beloved campus in person.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt

President

Update from April 22, 2020

From Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services

In order to comply with current state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19 and to keep both our community safe and be good citizens, Saint Michael’s College is instituting the following policy. We ask that ALL members of the Saint Michael’s College community wear a cloth mask to cover your mouth and nose when entering and doing work in campus buildings and around others. Since COVID-19 may be transmitted by someone who does not have symptoms, a mask helps you protect others. Students alone in their residence/room, or employees in their own offices, please use your judgement whether to wear a mask or not in those spaces. If you work in shared offices, where others may also be working or using equipment or facilities in the area (photocopiers, restrooms, etc.), you should wear a cloth mask.

PLEASE do not use N95 masks that are greatly needed by our healthcare community and continue to practice social distancing.

If you do not have access to a cloth mask, students can find masks available in a basket outside of Student Life in Alliot Hall until supplies run out, and employees may contact Public Safety. There are a limited number of masks available, so request one only if you otherwise cannot obtain one.

Public Safety

802.654.2374

OfficeofPublicSafety@smcvt.edu

CDC information on using and maintaining cloth face masks.

https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-19-VDH-mask-guidance.pdf

Update on April 14, 2020

From Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President of Student Affairs

Dear Students,

I hope this email finds you and your families well during this very difficult time. In light of Governor Scott’s recent decision to extend his Executive Order for only essential travel within the State of Vermont to May 15, we are required to alter the move-out schedule. We have rescheduled groups A-H to later dates (see below). Please note that campus will remain closed on the weekend of May 8-10. If you appealed to come to campus during the May 8-10 weekend, we are sorry, but we cannot honor your appeal any longer.

Dates for move-out grouped by the first letter of student’s last name. Note: groups highlighted in yellow are rescheduled.

I-J                                   May 15; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

K-L                                  May 16; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

M                                    May 17: Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

N-Q                                May 18; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

R                                     May 22; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

S                                      May 23; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

T-Z                                  May 24; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

A-B                                 May 29; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

C-D                                 May 30; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

E-F                                  May 31; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

G-H                                June 1; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

Reminder to Students

In light of some online chatter that has come to my attention, I want to reiterate with you that our campus is not open to visiting.

  • You are not allowed to come to campus without prior approval from Student Life.
  • You have an assigned day to move out of your room for a short period of time. That assigned day is the only day you are allowed on campus. If you have special circumstances, please contact housing@smcvt.edu.

I realize many of you are mourning the traditional spring celebrations on campus such as PDay, however please note:

  • If you are found on campus without prior approval, you will be held accountable. This may include losing your room and board refund, losing your housing assignment for next year, and other sanctions through the College conduct process.
  • Returning to campus without approval will put those students and essential staff still on campus at risk.
  • Please think of others and make good, responsible decisions around your own health and safety.

We will get through this pandemic only if we all abide strictly by the physical restrictions both federal and local governments are asking of us. It is imperative that you be responsible to yourself and others since lives are at stake.

Be assured, we are in the midst of planning an in-person commencement celebration on campus for our seniors to recognize the Class of 2020 at a future time. We are also working with student leaders to do something together remotely this May. We will provide more information soon. We miss you and hope you are doing well.  If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.

Be well,

Dawn

Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D. | she, her, hers: pronouns

Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Update of March 26, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

I hope that you are all well and staying healthy. Thank you all for your continued work on adapting to remote learning and supporting one another.

I am writing to communicate important decisions and updates about instruction and certain events for the remainder of the semester. Since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, the College’s emergency management teams have been meeting regularly, consulting with our own health experts as well as with peers at other institutions, and with state and federal health agencies. These conversations led us to make several very difficult decisions. We know that these decisions will come as a disappointment, and we all share in that disappointment.

Remote Instruction:

For the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff, we have decided that the remainder of this semester will be conducted through remote instruction. Understandably, this is sad news, especially for our beloved seniors. We fully understand your desire to return to campus, and we strongly wish that that were possible. We will continue to do everything in our power to make online learning as smooth as possible for you. If you are having any technical/computer connectivity challenges, please contact IT at 802.654.2020 or via email at ithelp@smcvt.edu. They will even try to support issues you may have because of home internet connectivity.

In the very near future, the Office of Student Life will be sending students and families a schedule and process for when and how students may pick up their belongings. While we will strive to be flexible, we will insist that students come to campus only on their scheduled date. We must stagger student pickups appropriately over the coming months to help ensure the health and safety of everyone and to practice social distancing. Please stay tuned for more information from Student Life.

Commencement:

In addition to suspending in-person instruction for the remainder of the semester, the College has made the very difficult decision to postpone Commencement. Seniors, we have heard you, and we have read your messages about postponing commencement. We are heartsick that it has become necessary to make this decision, and we fully understand your disappointment. You have worked so hard, and you have made so many friends at Saint Michael’s. Please rest assured that we based the decision on advice from public health experts. We will preserve as much as possible of the celebration that recognizes your accomplishments and honors the class of 2020 for another date, ideally in-person. Rest assured also that your degrees will still be conferred on May 10 as originally planned, and that we will mail your diplomas to you. We will watch national developments and work to find a date as soon as possible that will provide the safe and celebratory event that you all deserve. For many of us, commencement is our favorite day of the year, and we very much look forward to celebrating it with you.

Note: Student leaders are collecting commencement ideas from the senior class and sharing these with the commencement committee. If you have ideas and suggestions, please be sure to reach out to them:

Dimitrios Stamoulis, Class President:  dstamoulis@mail.smcvt.edu

Arianna Boscia, Class Vice President:  aboscia@mail.smcvt.edu

Katelynn Briere, SGA President:  kbriere@mail.smcvt.edu

Brenna Broderick, SGA Vice President:  bbroderick@mail.smcvt.edu

Reunion:

This year’s reunion, which was to take place May 28 – 31, has also been postponed. This is an event alumni, faculty, and staff look forward to each year, and I share in your disappointment in having to postpone. The Office of Alumni Engagement will be communicating with all alumni as new reunion plans unfold.

I am truly sorry to have to convey this news. Thank you for all the patience and fortitude you are showing during this world-wide crisis. Please continue to care for yourselves and for those around you. Please also continue to practice social distancing so that we all do our part to resolve this crisis.

We very much look forward to resuming our normal in-person activities. We can’t predict when that day will come, but it will come, and we will welcome you back with open arms.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

 

Updated March 24, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Tomorrow we embark on a new venture together. We will do the important work that we do—seeking truth, questioning, and educating—remotely. We will miss being together and experiencing the “aha” moments collectively. These moments are an inspiration, and they are the reason many of us chose to work in higher education. While we will do our very best tomorrow and in the days ahead, nothing can entirely replace the magic that happens in a classroom, face to face with each other. We know this, but we will persevere together.

I am already so proud of all of you. The heart, dedication, and resilience that you have demonstrated to get ready for teaching and learning online give me hope for a better tomorrow. A better tomorrow, I am certain, awaits us because of you.

Our world, our country, our community, must learn from this experience. We all must learn from this experience. We must understand what has happened, what is science, what is rumor. Equally importantly, we must then teach others. The world needs exactly what we all live and breathe here—a liberal arts education in all its facets.

These stories of the Saint Michael’s community opening their hearts to help one another remind us of what it means to do well and to do good.

As we move into the next stage of the semester, we will undoubtedly also have technical challenges to overcome together. IT has created a list of resources for remote learning and instruction, which can be found on the Portal and also from the Health Alerts section of our website. If you need additional academic support, you can find a number of resources listed on the FAQ page. I encourage you to reach out. With each other’s help and patience, we will all get better at this as the days go by.

Please also check your SMC email regularly for important updates from the College in the days and weeks ahead, and please know that decisions about the path forward will be shared with you as soon as they are finalized.

Let’s all look forward to the day when we can all be together in person again, and, in the meantime, I pray that everyone will remain safe and healthy.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated on March 19, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

First and foremost, as we look to the days and weeks ahead, I implore everyone to practice social distancing now. We must do everything in our power to flatten the curve of this pandemic.

Let us not forget that difficult times often bring out the best in people. In recent days I have seen extraordinary acts of kindness, dedication, and hard work from myriad offices and individuals on campus. Our Facilities staff have been disinfecting spaces all over campus to keep us safe. IT is helping employees who are working remotely and supporting our faculty members as they make the transition to teaching online next week. Many individuals and teams are significantly modifying the way in which they work, addressing new questions in this unprecedented time, and helping one another.

My heart goes out to all our students who have also had to adjust to a new reality, particularly our seniors who have had their final semester completely disrupted. We are here for you, and we are working hard on the preparations for the rest of the semester, albeit in a new and different way. I know that we will all face this challenge with the dedication, teamwork, and compassion that characterize the Saint Michael’s community.

As you know we created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, which can be accessed from the Health Alerts page. We add to it regularly as this situation evolves. We have made several important updates to it that include the following:

Students on campus who feel ill: Please read this information carefully as it describes COVID-19 symptoms, outlines what to do if you have them, and tells you about testing and about isolation here on campus. There are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus, but the College has developed a detailed protocol for helping students to get tested if they develop symptoms and has prepared spaces for any necessary isolation. Should a positive case be found on campus, the community will be notified appropriately. More information can be found in the FAQ list under Important Health Information.

College offices and services availability: This information explains which offices are closed for in-person visits or have limited hours until the College resumes in-person activity, but also how to access important services even if an office is physically locked. You can find this information under Campus Operations: Accessing Offices and Services.

Student Employment: The FAQ list has information for students, such as some RA’s and IT staff, who are still working, as well as those who will not return to their jobs on campus. The section where this can be found is under Financial Matters.

Refunds of room and board: Many families have asked this question. You will find more information about our refund policy in the section on Financial Matters.

The Counselors in the Bergeron Wellness Center are here for you. Counselors are still available to you, whether you are on campus or in another state, and any interested students are encouraged to join them on Instagram @bergeroncounseling so that they can keep in touch with you. You can make an appointment by contacting Heidi Brodtman during business hours at 802.654.2234, or if you have a more urgent need outside of business hours, contact ULifeline at 800.273.TALK, or 911. The Bergeron Wellness Center counselors have also created a helpful guide and resources for all of us as we deal with COVID-19 challenges. You can find them on the FAQ page under Important Health Information.

We miss having our students on campus: I know that I speak for my colleagues when I say that you are the reason we chose this line of work. We very much look forward to the day when we welcome you all back to campus! In the meantime, please stay safe and well.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt

President

Update on March 16, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Today the US government is warning of the continued rapid spread of the coronavirus and has announced new guidelines, including the closing of schools, and avoiding groups of more than 10 people, as well as avoiding discretionary travel, bars, restaurants, and food courts. On Sunday, Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced a Continuity of Education Plan for the orderly dismissal of all schools (Pre-K – grade 12), and the cancellation of all school-related activities, no later than Wednesday, March 18. We strongly urge all members of our community, both here on campus and beyond, to adhere to all guidelines and recommendations and to monitor the situation closely. In addition to following government guidelines, it is imperative that we all do our part to slow the spread of the virus and to give our medical professionals time to tend to those infected with the virus. It is also imperative that we all practice social distancing now.

At the College we have made, and continue to make, substantial adjustments in the way we do our work. The Information Technology office is making progress on training and technology to prepare for providing classes online. Faculty members are preparing to teach with new tools. Administrators and staff members have already begun to meet via Zoom and conference calls whenever possible, in order to adhere to the practice of social distancing. Sodexo is adapting to new ways of serving food to our students. The Admission Office is busy putting together virtual events for admitted students, and Student Life is working hard to provide students who remain on campus the limited but critical support and assistance they need.

For students, faculty, and staff who remain on campus:

  • The College is strictly prohibiting gatherings of any kind. This includes indoors and outdoors. Meetings must be held via telephone or remote technology.
  • Durick Library is now closed until further notice. Librarians are available to support the College community remotely until the library reopens (see Remote Library Services).
  • The Ross Sports & Tarrant Recreation Centers are closed. No one is permitted to use the facility at this time. Employees who have offices in the buildings may have limited access to their offices only.
  • Additional spaces that are closed with limited access only to employees who have offices in the building are: McCarthy Arts Center, Pomerleau Hall, and all academic buildings. Entrance to academic buildings will be by card access only as of 3/18/2020. All employees must carry their knightcards for access to buildings. If you have any concerns regarding card access, please email accesscontrol@smcvt.edu.
  • Bergeron Wellness Center is staffed and maintaining normal hours, but its doors will be locked. Students must call 802.654.2234 to be evaluated before an appointment can be scheduled.

Student Life is developing a schedule for checking in on students who remain on campus. I encourage each of you to support one another by connecting virtually via social media, phone, and text.

Students, you should have received an email from the Registrar with information about advising and registration extensions, and a reminder from the Office of the Associate Dean about being in touch with your advisor to set up a remote meeting. It is important to be as proactive as possible.

Lastly, the College has created an FAQ list, which is accessible via our Health Alerts page. Many of you have submitted questions, and we are adding to the FAQ list as answers become available.

We will continue to keep you apprised in the days and weeks ahead. Since the situation is changing rapidly, I must ask that all of us be prepared for substantial new developments and changes as we take the steps that are necessary for the health and safety of our community and far beyond. I urge you to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your community. The world is facing a gargantuan challenge, and each and every one of us has a crucial role to play in conquering it.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt

President

Update of March 15, 2020

From Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear SMC students,

In response to changing circumstances, including the declaration of a state of emergency by both the federal government and the State of Vermont and the importance of establishing and maintaining rigorous social distancing practices, we are issuing updated guidance about students in campus residences. This is a rapidly evolving situation and our priority is the health and safety of our students and community. Please be prepared for further changes, given the critical nature of this health emergency, which we are monitoring very closely. We ask for your patience as we all do our best to keep one another safe.

Effective immediately all students remaining on campus will be required to follow these terms in order to remain living on campus:

  • You agree to limit your travel locally for essential purposes only. For instance, travel to work that cannot be done remotely, for health care needs or for emergencies.
  • You understand that you are not permitted to return to live on campus if you traveled outside of the local area; this includes any pre-registered Spring Break plans. If you previously received permission and have left the local area, that permission is now VOID.
  • You will be permitted back to campus to pack up your belongings if you travel outside of the local area ONLY with permission from Student Life.  Please submit your request to return through housing@smcvt.edu.
  • Students who have already left the campus and were approved/intending to return after March 16 cannot return to campus.  If you have questions, please contact housing@smcvt.edu

Also effective immediately:

  • No non-SMC College guests will be permitted in any residence on campus.
  • Dining services and other campus offices will be open but will have limited hours and services.
  • You understand that all College policies, including those stated in the Student Handbook will apply, and you will be held accountable to them.
  • Please be aware that further restrictions may be necessary, including the possibility of the College suspending functions for a period of time. Please review the relocation plan you provided the College when you first enrolled.
  • In the event the campus suspends functions, plans to move the remainder of your belongings out of your room will be forthcoming.

Note, by staying on campus in residence you are agreeing to abide by these guidelines.

If at any point, if you feel sick while on campus in residence you are asked to NOT go directly to any health care provider, including Bergeron Wellness, without a phone call prior.

  • Bergeron Wellness; (802) 654-2234
  • Contact the Vermont Department of Health for guidance; (802) 863-7240
  • Contact 911 in the event of an emergency

You are strongly encouraged to have self-care items on campus including a thermometer and fever reducing medication such as Tylenol.  Please remember that the virus can be spread by people with and without symptoms, thus the importance of social distancing. Please refer to the CDC website for information about caring for yourself and others. Please see links below:

CDC – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

CDC – How to Protect Yourself and Others

Please understand that if conditions change, the College may require additional restrictions.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the Student Life Office at housing@smcvt.edu or (802) 654-2566 during regular business hours.

Sincerely,

Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D.|she, her, hers: pronouns

Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Updated March 13, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

There are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus. We are nonetheless taking the precaution of canceling all in-person classes today, Friday March 13. Please monitor your email for more information.

Updated March 12, 2020

From Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Affairs

As you learned from Dr. Sterritt’s letter last evening, the College has made the difficult decision to transition to online/remote instruction through at least April 14. All students are expected to leave campus no later than 6:00pm on Friday, March 13.

When leaving campus, please be sure to take academic materials, laptop, medications, and any other valuables. Please remember to lock your doors, lock your windows, and bring your keys and Knightcard with you. Buildings and rooms will remain secured while you are away from campus. As stated in a previous email, ESA owners must bring your animal with you and we strongly encourage you to leave the animal at home if you receive approval to return to campus.

We recognize that this is an extraordinary disruption to your experience on campus; however we feel that this is the best way to minimize the risk of spreading this virus on this campus and beyond. Fortunately, as of this writing, we have no cases at Saint Michael’s College.

As we transition to online/remote instruction, we realize that there are some students who may need to stay on campus while completing coursework online. You must apply for and receive permission to remain on campus. Please note: those students who received prior approval to stay on campus for the upcoming spring break will now be required to leave campus by March 13 at 6:00pm.

Any student requesting to stay on campus beyond March 13 needs to complete this request form.

Please know that permission to remain on campus may, at any time, change should the level of safety change on campus or the immediate area. In the event of an extreme situation that results in a total campus shut down, please make sure that you have a relocation plan as you may need to enact that plan.

  • Extenuating circumstances to stay on campus may include:
    • You are an international student
    • You are a member of an essential service on campus such as Fire and Rescue
    • You are a student teacher as long as your school district remains open
    • Your presence in the Burlington, VT area is necessary due to academic requirements
    • Leaving campus will result in extraordinary hardship for you
    • You are unable to relocate to a secure living environment
  • Those students who have been approved to stay on campus beyond March 13 are expected to stay in campus housing during spring break and avoid significant travel.
  • Students staying on campus are strongly advised to practice social distancing – no physical contact with one another – and are advised to stay at least 6 feet apart.
  • Students staying on campus will not be permitted to have any social gatherings. All SMC policies remain in effect and any violation of these policies will jeopardize your ability to remain on campus.
  • Students approved to stay on campus beyond March 13 who have left or plan to leave campus will be required to provide to the College all details of their travel; depending on their itinerary, these students may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Those students who are approved to remain on campus can expect:

  • Meals in a limited manner
  • Residence hall access to your own hall only
  • Limited campus offices and support systems will be available
    • Computer labs will be closed
    • Ross/Tarrant will be closed
    • Library services will be limited

We will communicate with you as far in advance as possible once we have pertinent information to share concerning significant campus events such as:

  • P-Day
  • Senior Week
  • Baccalaureate and Commencement Ceremonies
  • Summer Session (including housing and courses)

Please continue to practice self-care as referenced in previous communications and continue to check your SMC email for updates.

We will continue to provide regular updates on our COVID-19 response. Please visit the SMC Health Alerts page for updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through the many logistics of preparing for a smooth transition from our normal operations.

Sincerely,
Dawn

Updated March 11, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Saint Michael’s College is committed to the health and well-being of our community and is closely monitoring the ongoing developments related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Following today’s declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and in consultation with faculty, staff, and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, we have made the following difficult decisions:

  • The College is extending spring break for students by two days, with classes to resume online remotely on Wednesday, March 25. Remote online instruction will continue until at least April 13. Classes this Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 are being held in person as scheduled. The earliest that regular in-person classes could resume would be April 14. We will communicate with you regularly during this period. We will monitor developments and follow guidelines and recommendations from health agencies and reassess this timing by no later than April 9.
  • Students who cannot go home/stay home during or after spring break, please email housing@smcvt.edu to request permission to live on campus while continuing coursework online. NOTE: This will be on an exception basis only and will require students to remain on campus, avoid travel, and practice social distancing.
  • Students who are flying directly to their spring break destinations from Burlington and returning from those destinations to Burlington, are required to notify Housing at housing@smcvt.edu before being allowed to briefly enter their rooms to pick up any necessary belongings.
  • Students studying abroad should adhere to the guidelines and recommendations of their host providers. The Study Abroad Office is in direct communication with these students and their families.
  • Effective immediately, all public events on campus until at least April 14 are cancelled. This includes all athletic events, lectures, performances, and other large gatherings. When we can host events online, we will. We will monitor the situation closely and follow health department recommendations as to when we can again host events on campus.
  • All College sponsored trips have been canceled until at least April 14. This includes trips planned during spring break, e.g., MOVE service trips, athletics trips, and academic study trips.
  • All College sponsored travel by air or other public transportation has been canceled until at least April 14.
  • The College remains open during this period for employees and students who have made arrangements with Student Life. Faculty and staff members who have a fever or don’t feel well must stay home and consult with their primary care providers before coming to work.

In the coming days, you will receive additional information from the College about how we will support this transition. Please monitor your official Saint Michael’s College email for updates.

We understand that many people will have questions. This situation is unprecedented, and we ask for your patience. We will post FAQ’s on this page in the coming days. Remaining questions can be submitted via an online form accessed from this page. We have created a phone line for urgent questions: 802-654-2002. This urgent call hotline is available from 8:30 AM –4:30 PM Monday through Friday.

We recognize the disappointment that students, their families, and all of our community members are experiencing in response to this situation. Our decisions were not made lightly, and they reflect the care and concern of the administration, the Board of Trustees, the faculty, and the staff of the College. Please know that we will do all that we can to continue to support our students, faculty, and staff and to answer your questions as they arise.

At Saint Michael’s, we come together in challenging times. Our team has been working tirelessly to make plans for our students’ education and for the health and safety of our community. We will continue to work together on your behalf.

 

Updated March 10, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Although there are currently no recorded COVID-19 virus cases on our campus or in our immediate area, the College is actively making plans for that possibility. The Emergency Management Team and senior leadership of the College have been in daily communication with the Vermont Department of Health and have been meeting regularly since the first news of the outbreak. Our paramount concern is for the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

NOTE: This situation is dynamic, and information can and will change – please monitor your official Saint Michael’s College email account and this page for new information throughout Spring Break.

Classes After Spring Break

The College is actively preparing for the possibility that we may need to ask students to delay their return to campus and to transition to online classes temporarily after Spring Break. That decision could be made at any time between today and Friday, March 20, should conditions and recommendations from the Health Department change.

To prepare for the possibility of online classes from home after Spring Break:

  • Bring with you during Spring Break all academic materials (books, notebooks, laptop) necessary to conduct studies online for some period of time.
  • Check your Saint Michael’s College email during Spring Break in the event we need to notify you that classes will be conducted online.
  • Students who cannot complete their studies online from home will be able to apply for permission to remain on campus. Information on how to request permission will be sent out should the decision to go online be made.
  • Chief Information Officer Bill Anderson and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeff Trumbower will follow up with faculty with details.
  • Students whose travel plans are directly from and to the campus and who would not be able to bring their academic materials with them on break can coordinate with Student Life to pick up their materials upon their return, if we do move to online classes.

For students who need to stay on campus for Spring Break

  • The College and the Bergeron Wellness Center will remain open. If you need to remain on campus during Spring Break, you MUST register with housing. Email housing@smcvt.edu.

College-Sponsored Travel

At this time, the College is not canceling any domestic College sponsored trips during Spring Break. That includes Athletics trips, MOVE service trips, and academic study trips. No decisions regarding College sponsored trips that occur later in the year have been made at this time. We may need to make changes at any time depending on guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and Vermont Department of Health.  Monitor your official College email account and this page to keep informed of any new developments.

Public Events on Campus

At this time, the College is not canceling any public events on campus. This includes visiting lecturers, admission events, athletics events, and theatrical events and recitals. The College may change that decision at any time depending on guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and Vermont Department of Health.  Monitor your official College email account and this page to keep informed of any new developments.

Students Studying Abroad

Students who are studying abroad have been in direct contact with their in-country program providers and the Saint Michael’s College study abroad office.

Students and Employees at Particular Risk

For those in our community with particular concerns about their risk because of chronic medical conditions, more information will be sent to students from Bergeron Wellness Center, and to faculty and staff from Human Resources later today.

Additional information for travelers

  • Read the latest CDC travel warnings and know the Travel Health Alert status of the places to which you are traveling. If you are traveling to areas with a Level 3 or higher Health Alert status, you will not be allowed back on campus until you have completed a 14-day period of self-isolation elsewhere.

Helpful Links

I want to acknowledge the care and concern shown by everyone, and the hard work of the College faculty and staff. We will share new information with you as soon as it becomes available. Thank you all for your understanding as we address this challenge together.

Updated March 9, 2020

From the Office of Marketing and Communications

The Vermont Department of Health has reported the first Vermont case of COVID-19 in the southern part of the state. The College continues to closely monitor developments and follow the guidelines provided by state and federal health agencies, as well as coordinate with other institutions of higher education.

Continue to follow CDC guidelines for prevention to keep yourself and others healthy. Over the next few days, the College will be sending out information and recommendations for spring break travel.

Updated March 6, 2020

From the Office of Marketing and Communications

We continue to closely monitor the developments around the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and together with the College’s Emergency Management Team, are actively working on contingency plans to address its potential impacts on the College, its people and programs. We, like many other colleges and universities, are focused on continuing to deliver a quality student experience, while placing the health and safety of everyone at the forefront of our planning. We will continue to post updates to this Health Alerts webpage where you can find updated information and links to helpful resources, smcvt.edu/health-alerts.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Vermont. However, the Vermont Department of Health is monitoring a number of individuals, and we expect that it is only a matter of time before there are cases in the state. The best thing we can all do to stay healthy and keep our community healthy is to follow the CDC guidelines for prevention.

If you have been in contact with anyone who has been in areas designated by the CDC as a Level 3 or greater Health Travel Notice, the Vermont Department of Health asks you to contact them at 802-863-7240. They will be in regular contact with you to monitor you for symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, or fever. If you develop these symptoms, call first before going to your health care provider for evaluation. Stay in place and either call the Bergeron Wellness Center at 802.654.2234 (student), your provider (faculty/staff), or the Vermont Department of Health at 802.863.7240 (this phone is answered 24/7). You can find the up-to-date Health Travel notices on the CDC website. This information is important to monitor for students and employees planning travel in the coming weeks.

Study Abroad
We remind all students studying abroad to remain in close contact with your program providers. At this time, we do not have any additional students with programs abroad who are suspending operations and sending students home. That said, many students abroad are being asked to limit their travel from their host sites, and to avoid travel to certain areas with higher rates of infection. Please follow the guidelines provided by your host providers and if you have any questions or concerns, contact our Study Abroad office at 802.654.2222.

Upcoming Travel
Students, faculty, and staff with plans to travel in the coming weeks, consider making backup plans. At this time, the College isn’t cancelling any domestic trips planned for spring break by College groups, including teams, clubs, and programs. However, it is possible this could change at any time because the situation is so fluid. We advise you to please make backup plans for spring break in case we have to cancel trips. If you’re buying plane tickets, seriously consider purchasing travel insurance, too.

Anti-Stigma
People being mistreated because of their descent or nationality is unacceptable. As the CDC has stressed on its website, it is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus, or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of it are not at greater risk of spreading it than other Americans. We encourage everyone to show compassion and care for those who may be experiencing these kinds of discrimination and social stigma. If you witness such acts, share that these behaviors hurt everyone, foster fear, and can affect people’s wellbeing and the community’s resilience. Share the facts about COVID-19, which can be found on the CDC website.

Updated March 2, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

I am writing to provide an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) as it relates to our students studying abroad and on our campus here in Vermont. While there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Vermont, the College is actively planning for that possibility.

Our immediate concern is with our students studying abroad. On Friday, the U.S. Department of State raised its Travel Advisory for Italy to Level 3: Reconsider Travel. As a result, our students in Italy were notified on Friday by their program providers to return to the U.S., as those programs were being suspended for the semester.

For our students in study abroad programs in other countries, the College is monitoring the situation very closely and maintaining close contact with study abroad program providers, the Vermont Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other health agencies. It may be necessary to bring more students home based on future recommendations from the CDC and U.S. Department of State, but no such decision has been made at this time.

We are actively working with those programs on contingency plans that would allow students to continue their studies online. We ask for patience as we and the study abroad providers are working around the clock to address individual needs and concerns.

For students, faculty, and staff currently on campus who may be returning from travel to areas with a Travel Advisory designated Level 3 or higher by the U.S. State Department, the College will require you to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days before being permitted to return to campus. Please consider this carefully as you plan your travel for the upcoming spring break.

We remind you that the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC and Vermont Department of Health websites:

Vermont Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Anti-Stigma

We also ask that each member of our community review the CDC anti-stigma guidelines issued recently regarding coronavirus. The CDC advises that we collectively focus on the disease that is causing the problem and avoid casting blame on individuals, cultures, or nationalities. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/related-stigma.html

The health and safety of our community is our primary concern. We will keep you informed as the situation evolves. Please monitor your email for any related updates from the College, and regularly check the website health alerts page at: www.smcvt.edu/health-alerts

Updated February 27, 2020

From Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services

Saint Michael’s College is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The safety of our community is our highest priority. At this time, the virus is not spreading widely in the United States and there are no suspected cases in Vermont. This is an evolving situation and the College’s Emergency Management Team is monitoring it closely and will update the community via email and updates to this health alerts webpage.

Students Abroad


We are closely monitoring the situation in countries where we have students studying abroad and communicating directly with those students and their families. We have no students studying in countries that the U.S. Department of State rates as Level 3: Reconsider Travel or Level 4: Do Not Travel.  We have four students studying in central Italy, a country that has experienced a recent outbreak in the northern part of the country. Currently, the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory for Italy is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, and the CDC has issued a Level 2 Health Alert for Italy, Practice Enhanced Precautions. Our Italian program providers are remaining operational, as are a number of other study abroad programs in Italy.

We will continue to be in close communication with our students in Italy and their program providers as well as follow all medical and public health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. State Department.

For all students who are currently abroad:


  • Closely follow the protocols of your study abroad program and the recommendations of local government officials and International SOS.
  • All Saint Michael’s College study abroad students are covered by the College’s International Travel Assistance and Insurance Program and enrolled in the International Travel Registry that facilitates communication and support in the event of an emergency. These resources provide 24/7 assistance and communication.
  • We are sensitive to the concerns of our students abroad and their loved ones. The College will work with individual students to support their decisions and provide academic and logistical advice and resources relying on our education partnerships and risk management resources abroad and on campus. Independent of the College’s recommendations, we understand that students and families will need to make decisions that work best for them.
  • Students with questions about their study abroad program should contact their in-country program staff and their Saint Michael’s study abroad adviser. Students with questions about their health and safety should contact their in-country emergency contact or the Saint Michael’s College Study Abroad Office.
  • The Study Abroad Office can be reached by calling 802.654.2222 or emailing Peggy Imai at pimai@smcvt.edu.
  • In case of emergency contact:
    • Bergeron Wellness Center at: 802.654.2234
    • Saint Michael’s College switchboard: 654.2000
    • The Vermont Department of Health at: 802.863.7240

As the outbreak evolves, we will continue to post news recommendations from the CDC and other agencies on this page.

The most up to date information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC, and Vermont Department of Health websites:

Vermont Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For members of our community who plan to travel in the coming weeks, please follow all CDC Travel Guidelines.

Updated February 6, 2020

From Bergeron Wellness Center

The flu is widespread in Vermont and has been for several weeks. The staff at the Bergeron Wellness Center have seen and diagnosed many cases. We are asking anyone with flu-like symptoms to wear a mask so they can protect their health and the health of others. So, if you see a student with a mask, thank them for keeping you healthier! And if you are experiencing symptoms of the flu, such as cough, fever, chills, body aches, etc. call for an appointment at the Bergeron Wellness Center at 654.2234.

This should not be confused with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. There are no documented cases of the virus in our state at this time, but information continues to unfold daily. For the most up to date information on the Novel Coronavirus visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html or https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

As with all viruses, protect yourself and others by washing your hands, staying home when your ill, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and don’t share drinks, bottles, etc.