St. Michael’s College suspends in-person gatherings amid COVID outbreak

Local News

St. Micahel’s College has put a stop to all parties and social gatherings through Thanksgiving, and a testing center will be set up on campus Wednesday for asymptomatic students and staff.

A recent outbreak reached 88 COVID-19 infections Tuesday. The Colchester campus requires vaccines for students and staff, and officials say more than 90% are fully vaccinated.

“I would put money on these cases being very mild and not causing much distress, but still a case is a case and its unfortunate it happens,” said Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.

Levine says he’s concerned, but outbreaks among highly vaccinated groups are not uncommon. In a letter to students, college president Dr. Lorraine Sterritt said the campus community was doing well until a number of Halloween parties, where students were unmasked and in close contact.

Meanwhile, Northern Vermont University Lyndon’s campus is grappling with an outbreak of 10 cases.

“To say that students are a little nervous is accurate,” Bobby Saba, a senior at NVU, said. “This is the most cases we’ve had on campus at one time, ever.”

He says the school hasn’t enacted any additional testing or moved to remote classes, although the broadcast program has gone remote for the week.

“It’s being able to see what still can happen and motivate ourselves that extra little bit to get through hopefully the next few months being cognizant of what we need to do to keep ourselves safe and other people safe,” Saba said.

Levine reiterates that getting vaccinated is really your best armor against the virus.

“You still have heavy protection against the most severe outcomes; hospitalizations, going to the ICU, or dying.”

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