Second arrival weekend expected to bring 325 students

Packed bags? Check. Face masks? Check. Completed forms? Check. 

This weekend, as last, will bring more students in Norwich University’s phased-in 2020 fall semester arrival. About 500 students arrived over the weekend of Aug. 8 and Aug. 9; about 325 are expected this weekend, when Provisional Battalion rooks, Corps and civilian student leaders arrive.

This weekend, as last, an instructional Update From the Hill video will help students and parents understand what to expect when they arrive on campus. Assistant Vice President for Leadership and Student Experience Tracey Poirier, School of Nursing Director Paulette Thabault and Lt. Col. Michael Titus, commandant of the Corps of Cadets, narrate.

“We’re happy to have you back on campus. Your safety and health are our priority.” Norwich University Nursing Director Paulette Thabault

Poirier starts the video, peeling off her face mask to explain the route arriving cars will follow. Volunteers from Norwich’s staff will help direct traffic along the one-way route, which starts outside Kreitzberg Library, the sole open entrance. Poirier said the experience will feel like getting a car onto a ferry.

arrivals 2 2
Students who arrived at Norwich University Aug. 8 and Aug. 9, 2020, were careful to maintain 6-foot physical distance and wear their face masks as they traversed campus on Aug. 11, 2020. (Photo by Mark Collier.)

Arriving students will:

— Mask up: At the first checkpoint, drivers and passengers are asked to stay in their cars. Students will get temperature checks and be asked health screening questions.

— Find forms: Students must submit three completed forms — the COVID-19 test consent form, the Maroon and Gold Student Behaviorial Contract and the liability waiver. If you haven’t finished the forms, the university will give you fresh copies.

— Get testing time: Students will receive a chit with an assigned time to report to Plumley Armory for their first on-campus COVID-19 test. 

— Go to residence halls: Students will be directed to their residence halls and barracks. Parents will be directed to park as close to these buildings as space allows in lots or along the Upper Parade Ground. After strapping on their masks, students and their parents will be allowed to exit vehicles to help unload belongings. Parents may not accompany their students into the residence halls or campus buildings. Students will receive help moving their belongings into the residence halls and barracks from other students.

“This will be your last chance to say farewell to your student,” Poirier said, “give them that one last hug.”

Titus spoke next, describing how after goodbyes, students will move their belongings into their rooms. He said Corps students who came the weekend of Aug. 8, completed the seven-day quarantine and had a second negative COVID-19 test, will on Aug. 16 be allowed to start training with newcomers who didn’t have to quarantine. 

Test site protocol

Thabault followed Titus, explaining COVID-19 testing site protocols. She said students will:

    1. Sanitize their hands, check in at the registration table and get their temperatures checked.
    2. Blow their noses to clear particulate matter (to keep the test sample pure), discard the tissue and resanitize their hands.
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Corps of Cadets in formation kept 6-foot physical distance Aug. 11, 2020, to comply with COVID-19-related fall semester health and safety protocols. (Photo by Mark Collier.)
  1. Take their assigned test tube and put its cover on the table, keeping fingers off the cover and out of the test tube. 
  2. Take the cotton swab from its package and insert the swab’s cotton end into their nostrils, swirling three times in each. 
  3. Put the swab into the test tube, cotton side down then recap the tube and hand it back to the volunteer, who will stow it in the testing box.

“That’s it. In 24 to 48 hours, you’ll be able to log on and … receive your results,” Thabault said. 

If students test positive, university health services officials will contact them with details about isolation and quarantine. These students will also be interviewed by the Vermont Department of Health for contact tracing. Students can help the department by keeping a contact journal, listing where and with whom they’ve been. 

She added that students can help keep the campus healthy by wearing their masks, washing their hands and maintaining 6-foot physical distance from others.

“We’re happy to have you back on campus,” Thabault said. “Your safety and health are our priority.”

If you have questions on COVID-19 protocols at Norwich University, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

(Slideshow photos by Mark Collier.)


Remaining student arrival dates are:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 19 for rooks (surname A-L)
  • Thursday, Aug. 20 for rooks (surname M-Z)
  • Friday, Aug. 28 for residential civilian new students and early college program students
  • Saturday, Aug. 29 for commuter students and all remaining upperclassmen



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