Middlebury College is moving to remote instruction to end the fall semester in light of rising COVID numbers on campus, the school announced Thursday.
The news comes as the Vermont college reported 34 newly confirmed cases in addition to 15 cases already active. All but one of those cases were in students.
The school's final day of in-person classes was had been scheduled for Friday, but those classes and next week's end-of-semester exams will be held online instead, administrators said in a note to the Middlebury community. They encouraged students to leave campus for the holiday break early if they could.
While many of the current cases appear to be connected, administrators said, the growing prevalence of coronavirus in the region has the potential to lead to "broader community transmission," they warned.
The Vermont Department of Health recorded 740 new COVID cases on Friday, a new record for the state and an 18% increase from last Friday.
The college took substantial precautions against COVID-19, officials noted. Middlebury policy requires students, faculty and staff to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces and the college reports that 99% of its student body has been vaccinated.