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When COVID-19 put much of the world at risk, a group of experts at Champlain began working nonstop to ensure the safest possible return to school.
One of the first tasks Champlain’s new President, Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, tackled when he assumed leadership of the institution was to develop a return-to-campus plan that would ensure the health and safety of the Champlain community. He assembled a team of specialists from across the College—including representatives from Champlain's Health & Wellness Center, Campus Public Safety, Residential Life, President's Office and more—to ensure a holistic view was given to the plan. The team worked closely with individuals from the Governor's office, Mayor's office, and Vermont's Department of Health to come up with an approach that would ensure a successful reopening of the college.
Through comprehensive testing, tracing, and monitoring, Champlain has successfully kept infection rates on campus low. The College went above and beyond by implementing a weekly testing and surveillance plan and requiring students, faculty, and staff to sign a strict behavior/health pledge that mandates mask wearing, social distancing, and self-reporting of health symptoms. Anyone who fails to take part in testing and/or violates the behavior/health pledge will be asked to leave campus. These combined efforts have led Champlain to have one of the lowest campus infection rates in the nation.
Vermont has the fewest cases of COVID-19 of any state in the country thanks in no small part to the data-driven and aggressive measures taken by Governor Phil Scott and his team. Vermont’s management of COVID-19 hasn’t gone unnoticed. Read more from the New York Times, Washington Post, and The New Yorker.