Dear UVM Faculty and Staff,
We continue to closely watch our data to inform our UVM Strong leadership decisions.
Today, I notified students of our decision to extend twice weekly testing another 14 days because of the increase of cases in our off-campus student population. We also continue to be encouraged by the decline in cases in our on-campus residential students. More information on both topics below.
As promised, we will continue to share with you regular updates and data during this critical point in our semester.
At this time, twice weekly testing will continue through April 3 at which time it will be revisited.
This testing pattern is being continued because our off-campus student positive case numbers have grown. Since Monday, March 8 we have had 64 new positive cases off campus, of which 44 positives off-campus have occurred just this week since Monday, March 15. This is especially alarming.
Further, Wednesday night we received reports of multiple student gatherings happening in the Burlington community. Twice weekly testing will help us identify positive students and prevent the potential spread from these gatherings.
As you may recall, in the early part of this semester we saw a concerning growth in on-campus residential students testing positive. This week, we saw a dramatic decline—of the 7 new on-campus cases, 5 of the students impacted were already in quarantine thanks to contact tracing. If this trend continues through Sunday, we feel optimistic about amending the on-campus guest policy next week. Your commitment to testing has made a difference; a big thank you to our on-campus students.
Students play a critical role in the Burlington community—you contribute through your internships, student-teaching, service-learning, part-time work, and by exploring our amazing state. At this time, our responsibility to our community is simple, but certainly not easy. Please mask, wash your hands, maintain distance and, if you gather, do it outdoors, masked and distanced.
Vice President for Operations and Public Safety