Some measured restrictions on student movement, room gatherings relaxed in reopening plan’s second phase

We’ve masked, we’ve distanced, we’ve progressed in the coronavirus battle, President Mark C. Anarumo announced last week, but the fight is far from over.

In his Update from the Hill message, Anarumo this week said he’d met Sept. 15, as promised in previous town halls, with other university leaders to review on-campus pandemic-related policies.

He wrote that given the university’s zero positive COVID-19 cases on campus, locally low coronavirus prevalence and the campus community’s dutiful following of health protocols, the university would loosen some measured restrictions.

“The reopening of campus has gone extremely well, but we must continue to be vigilant,” Anarumo wrote. “I  am proud of our students, faculty, and staff who have kept our Norwich and central Vermont community healthy and safe.”

Students, who had been confined mostly to campus, will be cleared to patronize restaurants and shops and businesses in Washington and Orange counties that follow Vermont and university health guidelines.

Recognizing the importance of on- and off-campus social interaction, outdoor recreation and exercise for physical well-being and mental health, Anarumo wrote that Norwich students, who had been confined mostly to campus, will be cleared to patronize restaurants and shops and businesses in Washington and Orange counties that follow Vermont and university health guidelines.

Students will also, he wrote, be free to participate in outdoor recreation, including bicycling, climbing, fishing, golfing, hiking, paddling and running, in those counties while following Vermont and university guidelines.

students on phones min
Norwich University President Mark C. Anarumo said Norwich’s community must continue to respect others and consider collective health and safety, which means wearing masks, washing hands and keeping physical distance. (Photo by Mark Collier.)

Residential students will be able to have other residential on-campus students in their rooms equal to the room capacity, as long as masks are worn and physical distancing is maintained, he wrote. Outdoor group gatherings should stay small, he wrote, not exceeding 15 people.

The no campus visitor policy, though, will remain unchanged.

As before, students must request permission to leave campus — Corps students from company mentors; civilian students from the Residential Life staff. Company mentors and Resident Life staff may set return times for all students permitted off campus. Students who leave campus must return by midnight.

Anarumo said Norwich’s community must continue to respect others and consider collective health and safety, which means wearing masks, washing hands and keeping physical distance.

“We cannot stress this enough,” he wrote. “The risk of exposure to this virus increases when you are in close contact with another person, when you are in indoor spaces, and when you are in larger group gatherings.

“Please remember, we continue to live in a time of risk, despite our current position of safety,” he added. “It will take all our efforts to continue in a safe environment.”

Visit norwich.edu/psa for a complete list of Reopening Plan Phase 2 rules.

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