Effective immediately, Norwich residential students will be required to remain in modified room quarantine until student households have been defined and approved.
COVID-19 outbreaks in Vermont have risen significantly in the past six months and have largely resulted from spread occurring at private parties and/or social gatherings, including recreational, indoor and outdoor entertainment, incidental to ceremonies, holiday gatherings, parties and celebrations. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the State of Vermont urges all Vermonters to avoid multi-household gatherings.
An increasing number of students, parents, family members, and others have been contacting me, and Provost Dr. Sandra Affenito, for assistance on a wide range of topics. Given the pace of our daily meeting schedules and large volume of emails, these messages are not always answered as quickly as would be the case if sent directly to the responsible office.
Today we come together as a community of learning, albeit virtually instead of in person as we would all want. The word “together” is growing in meaning and importance as we continue to live through great strife and discord in our nation. The chaos and violence at the U.S. Capitol last week demonstrated that instead of coming together to face threats and challenges as we have in our nation’s past, we continue to grow further apart. History will rightly remember this past week as a moment of great embarrassment for our country.
If we are to thrive as a nation and as Americans, we must reverse this trend. Each of us has an important role to play as members of Norwich University. We are an international institution of higher education, meaning how we act and what we say will reverberate around the world and across the military, government, businesses, and in our communities. Our alumni are serving with honor in all branches of our armed forces, in health care, as sworn law enforcement officers at all levels of government, as engineers, construction managers, cyber experts, and in every other area of vocation and service.
With the rising cases of COVID-19 across the country, and the Governor of Vermont’s recent directive regarding the need to increase attention to physical distancing and masking, and reducing gathering sizes to single households, Norwich University will require all residential students to participate in the campus quarantine upon their arrival to campus.
Additionally, all students (including residential students and commuter students) will be required to quarantine at home for two weeks before returning to campus for the spring semester in January 2021. The home quarantine is required for all students, whether residing in the state of Vermont or out-of-state. This is in addition to the campus quarantine that all residential students will participate in upon arrival. For those students who were in residence in fall 2020, this is slightly different than the August 2020 arrival process. Please make sure you understand the changes.
The coronavirus pandemic forced Norwich University to adapt, but as a university with an “I will try” motto, we’re adept at just that. We tested rigorously students and employees for COVID-19. Our nursing students helped deliver 16,735 tests in all, yielding 16 positive tests, and a 0.09 percent rate. And, in the interest of the health and well-being of our campus community and central Vermont neighbors, we readjusted operations in response to the pandemic’s foothold in our state.