Updated: Three Middlebury College students test positive for COVID-19
UPDATE: The college reported one additonal positive test result for another student after this story went to press yesterday, Wednesday, November 18. There are currently three active cases — and 24 student contacts under quarantine — on campus.
MIDDLEBURY — Two more Middlebury College students have tested positive for COVID-19 and another 17 have been listed as "student contacts under quarantine," according to the latest data released by the college.
It’s the first time Middlebury has recorded a positive case since September. The positive cases came from a batch of 504 tests conducted on Monday.
“Given the nature of the virus and current surges in Vermont and throughout the nation, we anticipated that we might identify additional positive cases on campus,” said Chief Health Officer Mark Peluso in a campus-wide email Tuesday morning. “Still, this news underscores the importance of strictly abiding by Middlebury’s campus quarantine rules, as well as Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s order restricting social gatherings, which went into effect at 10 p.m. last Saturday.”
Vermont has set several records for daily case counts over the past week, prompting a new round of statewide restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. This past Friday Middlebury instituted a mandatory on-campus quarantine for the remainder of the residential portion of the fall semester, which ends this Friday, Nov. 20.
Campus operations will continue as planned, for now, Peluso said. The students who tested positive are moving to isolation housing, and contact tracing has begun.
All but two of the 17 students listed as "student contacts under quarantine" were so designated Tuesday afternoon. The other two were added to the list over the weekend and appear to be unrelated to Monday's test results.
According to the Middlebury College COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard the numbers of student contacts under quarantine will fluctuate "because individuals may be placed under quarantine pending contact tracing, and upon review, are deemed to not be a close contact and released from quarantine."
The college has conducted more than 13,000 tests on campus over the past three months, with only five positives.
Prior to Monday’s results, two students and one employee had tested positive, all of whom subsequently recovered.
Middlebury is conducting additional testing this week, as students prepare to depart campus for the year.