Norwich University holds the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff as our number one priority. The fluid environment generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the necessary public health reactions to infection rates and locations, have caused us to make adjustments to the Fall 2020 arrival plan. The changes outlined below are being implemented to ensure a safe environment on campus through which our students can enjoy the Norwich experience. The University continues to follow the most current guidance and directives from the Governor of the State of Vermont and the Vermont Department of Health to ensure we can safely and successfully facilitate our students’ return to campus this fall. As our knowledge of this virus evolves, we will adjust our operations to follow the most recent guidance from local, state, national, and international advisories.
We have used the most current guidelines to re-examine our fall reopening plans, including arrival timelines, and must make some adjustments. A summary of the changes is here:
- Any student who cannot meet the State of Vermont’s self-quarantine and travel guidelines prior to arrival MUST arrive on or before 08 August and undergo an on-campus quarantine to be a resident student for the fall semester. This requirement applies to ALL students who cannot meet the State’s home quarantine requirements regardless of lifestyle, class year, athletic status, or Corps leadership status.
- Students can avoid a campus quarantine if they meet the following Vermont-issued criteria:
- a. Students who reside in Vermont or one of the counties in New England or Northern New York identified as “green” counties (having fewer than 400 cases per million), and who remained in that area for at least 14 days prior to coming to campus, will not have to enter quarantine upon arrival. Please check the following link to see if your county is included on the “green” list: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/restart/cross-state-travel.
- b. Students traveling to campus from another state in a personal automobile with two or less family members, and who travel to the state in the most direct route with limited and only brief stops, and who can self-quarantine at home for either
- 1.) 14 days or
- 2.) 7 days and receive a COVID-19 test with negative results within 48 hours of arriving in the state.
Those who cannot meet Vermont’s criteria, which includes students who take ANY AND ALL forms of commercial transportation, must arrive by 8 August and undergo what we are calling a “campus quarantine.” Everyone on campus during this campus quarantine period will be arriving from a geographic region with COVID-19 case rates higher than 400 cases per million as designated by Vermont’s guidelines. Students in campus quarantine will be allowed to move about the campus while following physical distancing rules and wearing a mask. Students in campus quarantine will not be allowed to leave campus for any non-emergency reason.
Norwich will provide meals, activity programming, and orientation experiences to those in campus quarantine at no additional cost to the student. Some student services, such as those provided by the Registrar and Bursar, may be limited to virtual interactions until the student campus quarantine is complete.
Any student who must quarantine upon arrival in Vermont and cannot arrive by 8 August will be required to quarantine at an off-campus location at an additional personal expense. Please note that prospective Rooks who are required to complete a campus quarantine and cannot arrive on campus by 8 August will have to defer their Rookdom until the Fall of 2021. We know that will be disappointing to the prospective Rook, so please take advantage of the early arrival option we are offering. We want our Rooks to clear quarantine and start Rook Week and Rookdom on time. Help us meet that goal by following the guidelines and arrival timelines specified in this memo.
I realize this plan requires some students to spend additional time on campus before the academic semester begins. To capitalize on the opportunities offered by arriving early, we are working to develop meaningful programming to help make the time productive and to better prepare our quarantine students for the academic year.
Students who have been offered on-campus housing and who are not required to quarantine per Vermont guidance, and those who are able to complete a home quarantine prior to arrival, will be invited to arrive beginning August 16 and will continue arrivals based on the following schedule:
August 16: Corps Leaders, Provisional Battalion Rooks (CTC5)
August 19 and 20: All remaining Rooks, Civilian Student Leaders
August 28: All remaining Civilian Freshmen
August 29: All remaining Upperclassmen
A healthy and safe campus is our goal, and we will not penalize students who help us achieve and maintain that environment. If you test positive for COVID-19 or develop symptoms prior to your arrival, please remain home until you are cleared by a health care professional. Norwich will save your place on campus if this happens. Depending on where you travel from, you may have to complete an additional quarantine period in Vermont. We will assist and monitor your progress through this process and you will know that you have done the right thing for your fellow students and the Norwich community.
I understand these updates may affect travel plans for some of you. I regret those implications and sincerely apologize to whomever is harmed by these updates, but this is the best possible plan to get the campus open and ready to deliver the exceptional experience all deserve for Fall 2020 and beyond.
Members of the Student Life and Admissions staffs will be reaching out to students to confirm the dates students should be arriving on campus and to address student’s questions and concerns.
Until we get to see you in person, please hear me clearly, WE CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU! We have all been working hard to get our campus open and ready, for each of you. Travel safe!
Norwich Together, Norwich Forever!
Mark C. Anarumo, PhD
Col, USAF (Ret) President