St. Michael’s College, Health Dept. impose new COVID policies

Published: Oct. 25, 2020 at 11:20 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2020 at 5:18 AM EDT
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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - After officials confirmed 26 COVID-19 cases on campus, St. Michael’s College leaders met on Sunday with the Vermont Health Department to discuss the next steps.

In a letter to students, President Lorraine Sterritt says the Health Department says St. Michael’s College has a good opportunity to contain and manage these cases but only if everyone strictly follows the college’s COVID policies.

Sterritt says all 26 people who tested positive are now in isolation and 137 students who have been identified as contacts and are now in quarantine.

The Health Department is still conducting contact tracing and they have warned the college to expect additional positive cases among the contacts of those in quarantine.

During Sunday’s meeting, Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine and Health Department representatives collaborated with the college on its decision-making regarding the coming week’s activities and upcoming testing.

Starting now until Nov. 1, all classes will be online and there will be no in-person activities. Dining will be takeout only. Off-campus internships and student teaching will all be done virtually.

To protect the greater Colchester community, all students are asked to remain on campus and not leave, even for work, unless their job is deemed essential. Those who commute are asked not to come to campus at all. No more than 10 people can gather in common spaces or outside and off-campus guests are not allowed.

As for testing, all on-campus students will be tested on Saturday, Oct. 31. Students who are wrapping up their quarantine will be tested this week on their scheduled days as notified directly by the Bergeron Wellness Center.

College leaders declined an interview Sunday, as did students who WCAX News spoke to. College officials say they will continue working with the Health Department and will regularly update students. They’re also encouraging students to continue completing the daily health affirmation and monitor their health closely.

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