Phase Three Reopening Guidelines
The first six weeks of the fall semester have been delivered successfully due to our community’s united effort to prioritize the health and safety of our Norwich family and Central Vermont community. Together we have reduced the risk of infection through our use of masks and compliance with physical distancing, our enhanced sanitation protocols, and physical plant and operational adjustments to allow for reduced density and distancing.
Given our current situation of zero positive cases, adherence to behavioral standards by the vast majority of our students, and low prevalence of the virus in the local area, we can now proceed to Phase 3 because of how attentive and conscientious students and employees have been in complying with the health and safety mandates of Phase 2.
Social interaction and time with family and friends, volunteering in service to others, outdoor recreation, and exercise on and off campus for physical well-being and mental health, patronizing local restaurants and businesses, and even being employed in a part time job are all important ingredients of our students’ college experience.
To leverage these opportunities and enhance the mental health of our community, we will expand these opportunities to patronize local restaurants and visit shops and businesses in Washington and Orange County, to volunteer or be employed off campus in these counties, to serve in support of the Northfield Ambulance service, and to visit with family members overnight or for a weekend in local areas, and even outside local geographic areas on a case by case, prior approval basis. Please note that in all instances, both Vermont and university guidelines to mitigate COVID-19 infection must be closely adhered to and we must continue to respect others and consider the health and safety of the entire campus, the Central Vermont community, and our families and friends.
As a reminder, residential students may have other residential on-campus students in their rooms equal to the room capacity so long as masks are worn and physical distancing is maintained. For outdoor social gatherings on campus, please limit group size to no more than 15 people.
Finally, we must take responsibility for our actions and honor our Maroon and Gold Behavioral Contract and must continue to adhere to the No Campus Visitor policy.
In the new phase starting on 2 October 2020, the following rules apply*:
- Students must request permission to leave campus. Corps students need to receive permission from their Company Mentors. Civilian students receive permission from the Residential Life staff, specifically the Dean of Students, Director of Residential Life, or Community Coordinator. Leave for medical, military orders, and required academic events are authorized with approval and remain in effect.
- No more than 30% of the residential campus students may be off campus at one time. This percentage will be monitored by the Dean of Students and Commandant’s office.
- The Maroon and Gold Behavioral Contract that all students signed will remain in effect. As stated in this Contract, disregarding the stated safety precautions places the entire Norwich community at risk. If students do not comply with the safety rules annotated in this memo, they will be subject to discipline, up to and including a removal from campus and involuntary transition to remote learning.
- Company Mentors and Resident Life staff may set return times for all students permitted off campus. All students who depart campus MUST RETURN by midnight.
- Off Campus Employment may be requested for approval. Students who desire to work off campus must outline the name/address of the business, type of work and weekly work schedule to the Assistant Commandant or Dean of Students. Approval authority will consider the risk of COVID-19 exposure that the position and nature of the work poses. If risk is assessed as high, the approval authority will disapprove.
- NUEMS – Students who wish to work as an EMT for Northfield Ambulance may do so with control measures. Control measures will be conveyed by the Senior VP for Student Affairs in the approval process.
- Center for Civic Engagement and volunteer service – students interested in pursuing volunteer opportunities off campus should meet with CCE leadership for approval. The Director of CCE will assess the risk of exposure for any off campus volunteer service.
- Overnight Local Pass – Students who have family living in the local area in a green county may request a weekend overnight pass to go to a family home. The request must be sent to the Assistant Commandant or the Dean of Students.
- Outside Geographic Area Pass – Students may request a pass outside of Washington or Orange counties on a case by case basis with approval authority from the Assistant Commandant or the Dean of Students. Generally speaking, the Burlington/Chittenden County area of Vermont remains off limits but the approval authority may approve a pass in that area if they determine the pass is essential or the risk of COVID-19 exposure is low due to the nature of the activity or request.
* These rules are in effect immediately. We will continually review surveillance testing results and student behavior. Depending on that data we will make decisions on increasing or decreasing the percentage of students allowed off campus at once, adjust the curfew, and evaluate a larger geographic area for student access.
Again, wearing face coverings, keeping proper physical distance, and frequent hand washing/sanitizing are critical public health measures that reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 particularly as daylight shortens, temperatures drop, and we spend more time indoors. 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.
We trust that Norwich students will take the responsibilities we all have to one another very seriously. Our top priority is the collective health and well-being as we strive to complete the fall semester united as the Norwich family.
Thank you for your continued commitment as we navigate the challenges of this pandemic.
Yours in Service,
Norwich Together, Norwich Forever!
Mark C. Anarumo, PhD
Col, USAF (Ret) President