UVM anticipates COVID case peak, plans to move forward with in-person classes due to COVID vaccine requirements


Kate Vanni

Students do work in individual cubicles on the second floor of the Howe Library.

UVM anticipates an increase in COVID cases among students, faculty and staff, and plan to continue in-person operations as COVID cases peak, according to a Jan. 11 email from Patricia Prelock, provost and senior vice president, and Gary Derr, vice president for operations and public safety. 

The plan to continue in-person operations is due to the vaccination requirements the University has put in place for the UVM community. Current indications show the peak of Omicron cases will pass by early February, the email stated. 

Due to the vaccination requirement for the entire community and the additional booster requirement for students, we expect our population to weather this phase with little serious illness if any,” the email stated. 

Among other procedural changes, it is now the responsibility of the infected individual to trace their own contacts, rather than the responsibility of the University, according to the email. Student Health Services will send guidance to those who test positive on how to identify and inform their close contacts of their exposure. 

Additionally, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 now has a five to 10-day isolation requirement, according to the email. Individuals who don’t experience any symptoms or who notice symptom improvement by the fifth day can leave isolation but must mask around others through day 10.  

After reading about the importance of well-fitted masks, UVM is providing three KN95 masks to all students, faculty and staff, according to the email. The University anticipates being able to set up an are for people to pick up the masks near the Davis Center Covid Testing Center. 

The University noted that KN95 masks are reusable, according to the email. 

Additional information and resources

Students who develop COVID-19 symptoms can schedule an appointment for a rapid antigen test through the MyWellbeing portal or by calling SHS at 802-656-3350. Faculty and staff can walk into the testing site on the ground floor of Jeanne Mance Residence Hall at 394 Pearl St., according to the email.  

The rapid antigen testing site is open from 8:20 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. Monday through Friday. Testing will be available Saturdays at 425 Pearl St. from 9:20 a.m. to noon. 

Updates and additional information about free KN95 masks will be available as logistics are finalized on the UVM Forward website