Return to Campus FAQs

Return to Campus FAQs

Check back regularly for updates.  

What are the Vermont guidelines for the reopening of colleges in the spring? 

What is the testing and quarantining plan for students? 

All campus-based NVU students, commuting and residential, will be tested on January 29 or 30 and on February 5 or 6 at no cost to the student. Students will be required to quarantine on campus or at their off-campus residence until the first negative result has been returned, which will take between 24-36 hours.

Quarantine information can be found  in the Vermont state guidelines

What is the schedule for the spring semester?

View the academic calendar for a complete schedule.

Are there any special policies at NVU during the pandemic?

Please review this document for special policies

How will NVU help to ensure that the campus environment will be a safe one? 

Protocols include staggered arrivals of students and multiple rounds of testing when students return, quarantine before and after students arrive on campus, cloth mask use, restrictions on travel and visitors, limiting gatherings according to Vermont guidance, physical distancing protocols, and other preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection. 

What other health screenings will be required?  

Students and employees will be required to conduct a brief daily COVID-19 symptom screening, exposure, and temperature self-check at the start of each day. Fill out the daily screening at NorthernVermont.edu/RequiredDailyScreening. Students will complete this form 7 days a week. Faculty and staff will complete this form when going to campus. This link is also on the portal.

How will students who test positive be isolated? 

Residential students with positive test results will stay in dedicated isolation housing. Contact tracing will commence immediately in cooperation with the Vermont Department of Health. The Department of Health will use the Sara Alert system to help manage and follow COVID-19 infected and exposed individuals. Students in isolation housing will be supported by health, counseling, and residential life staff. Meals will be provided.   

Students who live off-campus are subject to the same guidelines as on-campus students.

What is the protocol for people who had contact with a positive-tested student? 

Contact tracing and subsequent testing of individuals identified as a contact will be managed by the Vermont Department of Health. 

Students identified through contact tracing who need to quarantine will be managed on a case-by-case basis. In many cases, students will be able to quarantine in their rooms following Department of Health guidance. In some cases, students may be relocated to other housing, as necessary. Students in quarantine will be supported by health, counseling, and residential life staff. Meals will be provided. Specific instructions will be provided to students as we get closer to arrival day, including what to bring and how to plan for possible quarantine.

Will students, faculty, and staff be required to get flu vaccinations and COVID-19 vaccinations (when COVID-19 vaccinations are available)? 

Annual influenza (flu) vaccination is recommended by the CDC for all U.S. citizens older than six months of age, barring any medical contraindications. Vaccination reduces the burden of respiratory illness in our community and reduces the likelihood that an individual would need to be quarantined for eight to 14 days or longer due to concerns about COVID-19. Faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to get an annual flu vaccine once it becomes available.  

Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I have two doses of the vaccine? 

Yes. People who get the vaccine should continue taking steps to prevent COVID-19. This is because even if the vaccine protects you from illness, we still don’t have enough information on whether you could still transmit the virus to someone else. Even once we do learn this, there are a number of things we need to know before we can ease up on things like mask-wearing and physical distancing, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities. Together, the vaccine and those preventive actions are the best ways to keep from getting and spreading COVID-19.

I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms. What should I do?

You can be around others after:

  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*

*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation

Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results.
Note that these recommendations do not apply to persons with severe COVID-19 or with severely weakened immune systems (immunocompromised). These persons should follow the guidance for “I was severely ill with COVID-19 or have a severely weakened immune system (immunocompromised) due to a health condition or medication. When can I be around others?

I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms.

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19. Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results. If you develop symptoms after testing positive, the 10-day isolation period re-starts from the date of symptom onset.

Will masks be required on campus? 

Cloth face coverings/masks are required as a public health measure to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets and secretions, which can spread COVID-19. 

Employees, students, and visitors are required to wear masks when in the presence of others indoors, or within 6 ft. of others while outdoors. You will need to bring your own mask to wear on campus. While an N-95 or surgical mask are the gold standard of masks, these masks continue to be in short supply and should be preserved for essential workers. The CDC recommends two-ply fabric masks as a good alternative. To learn more about mask specifications and making your own mask, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html 

NVU will provide one mask to all students and employees. Bring your own masks as well so you can wash your mask frequently as recommended by best practices. 

Will PPE be required on campus? 

Personal protection equipment (PPE) is required to mitigate hazards for an employee in a specific job. When an employee is required to perform a task that is considered very high risk or high risk, the employee will be trained and provided with the necessary PPE to perform their work safely. 

How will we reconfigure spaces for distanced teaching? 

All spaces have been adjusted to reduce density and ensure at least six feet of physical distancing. Classrooms have been analyzed and reconfigured to meet physical distancing guidelines.  

Can students have guests on campus?

Students will be restricted to their "household", which is their residence hall complex. They will be able to visit with one another outside, in the dining hall, and in other spaces on campus provided mask and physical distancing guidelines are followed. Visits between residence halls are not allowed. We cannot permit any off-campus guests, on campus.

Will lounges and community kitchens be open?

They will, with strict guidelines about cleanliness, physical distancing, and mask-wearing. Students' adherence to those guidelines is what will determine whether we can keep them open.

Will suite-mates or roommates in apartments have to wear masks?

That will be the decision of the people who live in that suite or apartment. However, if there is a guest, everyone in the common area of the suite or apartment should wear a mask.