Dear UVM Students,

It has been a remarkable semester. I am enormously grateful for your sustained commitment to the many requirements and expectations developed to support in-person classes. And I am proud of your dedication to keeping yourselves and the UVM community safe and healthy. Thank you.

With that noted, now is not the time to let down our guard. In light of the increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the nation, including Chittenden County, we ask that you pay careful attention to the following items.

Early Departure Option for Undergraduates

UVM’s last day of in-person classes prior to the break for undergraduate students is Tuesday, November 24. Due to the recent rise in coronavirus positivity rates, we understand that families may want to reunite prior to that time. Therefore, undergraduate students are permitted to leave campus in the coming week and continue their studies remotely. Students who plan to leave early should notify their faculty as soon as possible. They will also need to complete the COVID testing exemption form. Currently, graduate in-person and mixed modality courses can continue after Thanksgiving. Medical students may also continue in-person and mixed-modality classes after Thanksgiving.

Stay Safe

As you prepare to leave Burlington and to reunite with family and friends, please schedule an additional COVID-19 test immediately prior to your departure.  Contact your faculty to let them know about your travel plans and ask for their assistance to continue your studies. Plan to pack your valuables, electronics, medicines and other essentials you will need through February, so they are not left in the residence halls. If you are leaving early, please follow the instructions of the Residential Life Fall Moveout page (https://www.uvm.edu/reslife/fall-moveout-spring-return).

  • Plan to get tested at least 48 hours before you expect to leave to allow time to get the test results.
  • Schedule your departure time so that you are sure to get your results before leaving the area. For example, if you plan to travel home on Saturday, November 21, get an additional test on Thursday, November 19. You should get your results Friday evening. 
  • Be sure to continue practicing all the safeguards after your test (and through break)— masking, social distancing, frequent hand washing—in to minimize the risk of infection.

Take Advantage of Additional Testing Hours

The Testing Center will be open Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This will allow students leaving on Monday, November 23 or Tuesday, November 24 to get tested prior to departing.
 
I hope that you will take advantage of this additional testing option to make sure that you do not risk spreading COVID-19 to family and friends. You may be spending time with people who have underlying health issues or who are older, such as grandparents, and are therefore at greater risk of infection.

Make Plans

If you do test positive, the Center for Health and Wellbeing will contact you to talk about travel options and about isolating either on-campus or off-campus in your apartment.
 
It is also important to research travel and quarantine requirements in the state that you are traveling to. State requirements vary a lot and you will need to plan accordingly.
 
A little preventive care can go a long way this season. Let’s make it a healthy and happy time of year for everyone!

Gary Derr
Vice President for Operations and Public Safety
The University of Vermont

PUBLISHED

11-15-2020
Gary Derr, VP for Operations and Public Safety