Highly Vaccinated Vermont College Goes Back to Remote Learning Due to New Cases

Despite a vaccination rate of 99 percent, a Vermont liberal arts college has reverted back to remote learning due to 50 cases of coronavirus.

On Thursday, Middlebury College in Vermont announced that final exams will be administered remotely after 49 students and 1 employee tested positive for the coronavirus despite an extraordinarily high vaccination rate of 99 percent out of a population of 2,858 students, according to Fox News.

Students were encouraged to “leave campus and travel to their break destination early.” Students who remained on campus were required to follow strict mitigation measures:

While many of the new cases we have identified appear to be connected, occurring in clusters among people who socialize together, an increase in the prevalence of COVID-19 increases the likelihood of broader community transmission. Given the timing of this increase, coinciding with the end of the fall semester and imminent student departures, we have decided to move immediately to remote instruction and postpone in-person events. This includes classes that meet on Friday, December 10, final exams, and all formal and informal events, including athletics competitions and performing arts.

With more than 99 percent of students fully vaccinated and many already receiving booster doses, the risk of adverse health outcomes from the Delta variant is low. Rising student cases that require isolation, ongoing transmission, and the few days remaining in the semester warrant the change to remote instruction.