Middlebury College is having an outbreak of COVID-19 cases even while its vaccination rate is reportedly 99 percent.
The private liberal arts college is implementing remote learning again until the end of the fall semester after reporting 50 COVID-19 cases.
According to a Fox News report Sunday, the school was supposed to remain open for exams to wrap up, but instead students were asked to leave early and testing had to be finished online.
A statement from the school says that kids who had to remain on campus were to follow strict protocols. If students test positive for the virus and want to go home, they must convince the school’s health department that they can drive directly home without stops, and then they must remain home until they are approved to leave.
COVID-19 on Campus and Move to Remote Instruction
Students able to leave campus and travel to their break destination early should do so. Students who must remain on campus for travel reasons may stay and will need to follow the mitigation measures below. https://t.co/JJLYu6uLbt
— Middlebury College (@Middlebury) December 10, 2021
Other rules include no indoor gatherings, only six students can gather outdoors, and masks must be worn campus-wide. No visitors are allowed.
The school believes students who socialize together may be to blame for the outbreak.
“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,” officials said.
The school, which has 2,858 undergraduates, is performing contact tracing. This means these students are being asked who they were with and where and when, and this can lead to even more tracing.
On Twitter, @SusieQuewl shared the frustrations of being asked to quarantine, which can cause problems for work-life balance and childcare.
Told to quarantine my kid for a week for the second time in a month by the school because of class exposure. I'm setting up a test and wondering how parents who don't have transportation are supposed to get their kids tested. @healthvermont should be mailing out tests #vtpoli
— UBI/UniversalHealthcare/Housing4All/BravoOpinions (@SusieQuewl) December 13, 2021
Nonetheless, the school is insisting the students stay at home.
“Rising student cases that require isolation, ongoing transmission and the few days remaining in the semester warrant the change to remote instruction,” the school administration wrote.
This is not the first time that high-vaccinated populations have seen COVID-19 breakouts. In November, a Covid outbreak at a fully-vaccinated Connecticut nursing home killed 8 residents and infected 89 others. Also, the news outlet Revolver has reported that 44 Berkeley football team players were sidelined during a COVID outbreak despite the team being 99 percent vaccinated.
The ongoing transmission of the coronavirus, including hospitalizations and deaths, spurred a senior associate editor at The Atlantic to write “The Pandemic of the Vaccinated Is Here.” On Friday, Reuters reported that nearly 80 percent of U.S. Omicron variant cases “were in people who were fully vaccinated, and a third of them had received a booster dose.”
A report by the World Bank documents negative consequences of too much online learning.
“The global disruption to education caused by the COVD-19 pandemic is without parallel and the effects on learning are severe,” the report states. “The crisis brought education systems across the world to a halt, with school closures affecting more than 1.6 billion learners. While nearly every country in the world offered remote learning opportunities for students, the quality and reach of such initiatives varied greatly and were at best partial substitutes for in-person learning.”
At the University of Deleware, students sued the school over its switch to online learning and won their case. The court determined that ending the in-person services and operating online while continuing to charge the same tuition constitutes a breach of contract.