Return-To-Campus COVID Protocols for Students

Dear Champlain Students, 

We are following up on Friday’s email with additional details about COVID health and safety protocols, including actions you will need to take as you return to campus. We appreciate your careful attention to these details. While this is a long email, we wanted to anticipate and answer questions you may have.

This email includes:

  • ACTION STEPS for students to return to campus
  • New COVID Landscape
  • Classes, Books & Academic Schedule
  • Booster Requirement
  • Pre-Arrival Testing
  • Arrival Testing
  • Ongoing Testing for Students
  • Changes to Communicating Test Results
  • Quarantine/Isolation Practices
  • Campus Operations & Experience
  • Residential Student Move-In
  • Student Employment & Internships
  • Masking
  • Community Health Pledge

ACTION STEPS for students to return to campus (see full details below):


The Omicron variant has created a new reality that requires us to adapt to a different mindset. The increased transmissibility of Omicron means we are experiencing higher COVID case counts, yet vaccinated and boosted individuals are experiencing milder symptoms. We will benefit from our continued diligence around protocols and community requirements such as vaccination and boosters. 

It is important to note that COVID-19 guidance from state and health entities is beginning to evolve from pandemic measures to endemic daily practices. We are continuing to align our plans with the latest public health information and guidance, and we will continue to monitor and adjust plans as needed.

Do not travel to campus if you test positive for COVID-19 within 10 days prior to your arrival date, are in quarantine, or are experiencing COVID symptoms. If you have been identified as a close contact within 10 days prior to arrival, please contact the Student Health Center prior to travel to campus. If you test positive for COVID—on campus, in the Burlington area, or at home—please self isolate and contact the Student Health Center. 


As previously communicated, classes for the first two weeks of the semester, January 17-January 28, will be conducted virtually. We plan for in-person learning to resume on January 31. The academic calendar for spring semester remains as planned. 

Your faculty will reach out to you directly with information about how to participate in your virtual classes. Contact if you have not heard from any of your instructors during the first week of classes.

During the period of virtual instruction students will have access to all campus resources such as computer labs, the library, and other rooms on campus for additional study space. 

Smart Space coaching will begin virtually starting January 17, but tutoring will be by request only between January 17-30. Both tutoring and coaching will be back in-person on the 30th with the option of virtual for those that request it.

The Campus Bookstore will be open on Sunday, January 16 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Anyone who would like to change orders from on-campus pick-up to shipping should call the Campus Store at 802-863-8961. There is a $7.50 shipping fee. If you wish to have an order shipped, it is recommended that you call as soon as possible. 


All on-campus students are required to receive a COVID-19 booster when they are eligible. Please note that a recent change recommends that individuals who received the Pfizer or Moderna primary series receive their booster after 5 months, or 2 months after a J & J vaccine. If you are eligible for a booster by or before January 17, 2022, it is required that you get a booster vaccination prior to returning to campus. Students should upload updated vaccination information as detailed on the Student Health Center webpage

The state of Vermont leads the country in booster vaccination rates due to its success in making boosters widely available. Information on how to schedule a booster appointment in Vermont can be found here


Pre-arrival testing is required of all residential students prior to returning to campus in the spring semester and strongly recommended for all commuter students

Residential students are required to submit a negative test result before travelling to campus. PCR tests must be collected within the 5 days prior to return to campus. Rapid tests, including tests collected at home, are acceptable if they are collected on the date of travel to campus and are labeled with the student’s name and date of collection. Residential students will not be permitted to move back into campus housing without submitting their negative test result as instructed. Students who have questions or concerns should contact Student Health Services at (802) 860-2711 for assistance Monday – Friday, and for weekend assistance.

Student GroupArrival to Campus DatePre-Arrival Test Date
Students Attending First-Year & Transfer OrientationSunday, January 16 PCR: On or after Tuesday, January 11 Rapid antigen: Day of arrival
Returning Residential StudentsSunday, January 16 PCR: On or after Tuesday, January 11 Rapid antigen: Day of arrival
Returning Residential StudentsSunday, January 23PCR: On or after Tuesday, January 18Rapid antigen: Day of arrival
Returning Residential StudentsSunday, January 30PCR: On or after Tuesday, January 25 Rapid antigen: Day of arrival
Commuter Students (strongly encouraged but not required)Monday, January 17 On or after Wednesday, January 12; before use of campus


Residential students must also complete a COVID test at Whiting Hall within two days of arrival on campus. Failing to test on campus will result in being removed from campus until a negative result is provided. Commuter students are also encouraged to test during this time. The testing center will have special hours of 9:00 AM–2:00 PM on the following dates: 

Arrival to Campus DateFirst Week Testing Hours Open for these dates
If you arrive Sunday, 1/16 Monday, 1/17 or Tuesday, 1/189 AM – 2 PM
If you arrive Sunday, 1/23 Monday, 1/24 or Tuesday 1/259 AM – 2 PM
If you arrive Sunday, 1/30 Monday, 1/31 or Tuesday 2/19 AM – 2 PM


All students will continue to have access to COVID-19 testing beginning Monday, January 17 and throughout the spring semester. The Testing Center is located in Whiting Hall and will be open for asymptomatic testing Monday through Friday 9:00 AM–12:00 PM. Symptomatic testing will continue to be available by appointment through Health Services. Mandatory weekly testing will continue to be required for students with medical or religious vaccination exemptions. 


An important change this semester is that Student Health will be using email and text notifications as initial notification to students who test positive or are identified as close contacts. In anticipation of increased positives, this change will ensure that positive individuals receive information and resources quickly. It is essential that students promptly open all emails from to receive results and notifications in a timely manner. The Student Health Center will continue to follow up with students via phone, but this shift will allow us to notify large groups swiftly. 


The Student Health Center continues to work closely with the Vermont Health Department, and students will follow all isolation or quarantine practices when deemed appropriate. Please note that quarantine guidance from the CDC has shifted since the fall semester, and students may receive different instructions than what they have experienced prior to booster availability and requirements.


As we prepare for student arrival, we recognize that our employees are also impacted by the Omicron surge. All campus resources will be open for in-person services, and we expect that some employees may need to unexpectedly be available virtually due to changing personal needs such as interruptions in child care, school closures for Vermont’s K-12 schools, and increased transmission.

Similar to fall semester, students will be able to move about campus and visit other students in other residence halls, masking in public spaces indoors. Student groups will be able to meet in the first two weeks of the semester, and we anticipate clubs and intramural sports being active, although different activities of each group may be evaluated for safety.

Campus Resources

All student services will be open and accessible beginning January 17, including Compass, the Fitness Center, and computer labs. 

Food and Dining

The IDX cafeteria will be open for in-person dining and select take-out options during the first two weeks of virtual instruction. EATS (Zime and Cru5h) will also be open beginning Monday, January 17.

Campus Shuttle

The Campus Shuttle will resume weekend service on Sunday January 16 from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. It will also resume weekday service using the same schedule as the Fall semester on Monday January 17 from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM. 

Campus Events

Campus events and student programming will also be available beginning Monday, January 17. Large in-person events will be avoided for the first two weeks of the semester but will continue virtually. We will continue to monitor campus events and evaluate the need for potential restrictions throughout the semester. 


Residence halls open Sunday, January 16, with additional move-in dates of January 23 and January 30. Residential students received a detailed email earlier this week from Housing and Residential Life outlining required steps for signing up for your desired arrival date. Please sign up for a move-in date by 3:00 PM Thursday, January 13. 

If your health status changes and you need to push back your arrival date, students are able to log back into THD Self Service and update the form. 


Campus-based student employment will begin as scheduled following all COVID safety protocols. For student internships, students should reach out directly to their internship sites to verify a start date. Students may begin their internships at any time. Students who are not planning to return to campus until in-person classes begin should share that with the internship coordinator. 


The College’s current masking policy will continue to be in effect for the spring semester. As a reminder, all students, employees and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks when in shared indoor spaces. Masking is not required for students in their own residential apartments/suites, but does apply to areas such as common rooms, stairwells, and hallways.

Face coverings are an essential tool in reducing the spread of Omicron and COVID-19. The CDC provides information about how to select, properly wear, clean, and store masks


The Champlain Community Health Pledge describes the College’s expectations of you—and our expectations of one another—as we work together to establish and maintain the health of our campus community. Please refamiliarize yourself with our Community Health Pledge prior to your return to campus this spring.

We thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding as we work together toward a successful return-to-campus this spring. We will share additional information as needed as we approach the start of the semester. All of our COVID-related information, including communications to students and FAQs, can be found on Champlain’s website. Please email with questions.


Danelle Berube
Vice President of Student Affairs