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The Dartmouth
March 2, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

COVID-19 campus updates: Tuck classes to proceed in person as planned

Follow along for the latest COVID-19 developments on campus.

tuck floater.jpg

Despite an outbreak at the end of last week, Tuck classes will proceed in-person as planned on Monday. 

Check back here for updates on current case counts and other campus developments.


Tuck classes to proceed in person as planned

Aug. 22 | 3:30 p.m.

In-person classes will proceed on Monday at the Tuck School of Business as planned, the Tuck Dean’s Office informed students Saturday evening in an emailed message. 

The announcement comes after several Tuck orientation events last week were moved online following an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. 

According to the Dean’s Office’s message, the daily case rate has fallen such that in-person classes will proceed for vaccinated students and those who have received an exemption. Students still awaiting contact tracing tests or who have accommodations for remote learning will “participate in class virtually.”

The message emphasized Dartmouth’s high vaccination rate — 94% among members of the on-campus community as of Friday, according to the COVID-19 Dashboard — and encouraged students to socialize outside. It also reminded students that masks are required in classrooms and common spaces. 

There were 21 active cases among all students and two among faculty and staff on Friday, according to the dashboard. 


Following case spike, Tuck moves orientation online

Aug. 19 | 9:15 p.m.

Due to the identification of eight COVID-19 cases among Tuck School of Business students since Aug. 9, the remaining two days of the Tuck Launch orientation for first-year students will be virtual starting today, according to an email sent to Tuck students by the Tuck Deans’ Office on Aug. 18. 

The message also said that the “Tuck ’Tails” event scheduled for Thursday will be postponed and that Tuck is “closely monitoring” the case count to make a decision on the format of the first week of classes. Executive director of marketing and communications at Tuck Lindsey Walter confirmed in an emailed statement that as of Thursday evening, “no decision has been made yet” about the format of Tuck classes, which begin next week. 

As of Thursday evening, Dartmouth’s COVID-19 Dashboard showed 17 active cases among students and 3 among faculty and staff. Vice president for communications Justin Anderson confirmed in an emailed statement that the “cluster of at least 10 individuals” indicated on the dashboard is the Tuck outbreak. 

According to the message, the cases are “occurring despite vaccination,” and masking continues to be required in most indoor Tuck spaces. Tuck study groups are still permitted to gather in their assigned study rooms for the CEO Challenge — a 24-hour business case analysis — and a lunch scheduled for Friday will instead be offered in a “grab and go” format. The message also encouraged students to take advantage of outdoor spaces to socialize. 

While fully vaccinated Dartmouth students are required to get tested for COVID-19 once every 30 days, the announcement said Tuck anticipates asking students to test more frequently in the near term, regardless of vaccination status, and said that more details about increased testing frequency would be available “in the coming days.”

Anderson wrote that testing hours will be extended Friday and Saturday “to accommodate an expected increase in demand.” 

He also wrote that despite the news and the reinstatement of the indoor mask mandate, the College “[expects] and [is] planning for all undergraduate instruction this fall to take place in person.”

Correction appended (10:11 a.m, Aug. 20, 2021): A previous version of this post stated that the email was sent to Tuck students on Thursday. It was sent on Wednesday. Additionally, the post stated that masking is required is all indoor Tuck spaces, but the indoor mask mandate is not universal. The post has been corrected. 


Kotz announces loosened indoor mask mandate, Mills says staff return may be delayed in “Community Conversations” livestream

Aug. 18 | 4:50 p.m.

Dartmouth will loosen its indoor mask mandate somewhat for individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19, interim Provost David Kotz announced in a “Community Conversations” livestream today. 

Fully vaccinated residents of on-campus housing with no symptoms can remove their masks anywhere in their residences, Kotz said. Additionally, two fully vaccinated people meeting one-on-one indoors may remove their masks as well. 

Kotz said that the College has received feedback from community members both for and against the reinstated indoor mask mandate, which was put back into place on Aug. 5 a day after Hanover renewed its own mandate. He emphasized his view that the rules are “inconvenient” and “a step backward” in the return to normalcy, but are also “the best and most effective way” to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

The school has detected 21 positive cases between Aug. 1 and Aug. 17, 10 among faculty and staff and 11 among students. Of the individuals who tested positive, at least 19 were fully vaccinated, Kotz said, and all of them are “recovering well” and either experienced no or mild symptoms. 

The reinstated indoor mask mandate is “not intended as the first step down a path toward other, more restrictive measures like social distancing, smaller event sizes or remote learning,” Kotz said. Rather, by masking, the community can prevent a return to further restrictions, he added. 

The mandate will be lifted when it is safe to do so, he said, potentially earlier than the end of September. 

“Our plans for the fall remain effectively the same,” Kotz said, meaning that all classes will be in person and gathering restrictions are not planned. 

However, later in the livestream, executive vice president Rick Mills previewed an announcement next week that may delay the full return of Dartmouth staff to campus, noting that it is still under “active discussion.”

“We have seen other employers, national employers, make the decision to push back the return to campus, return to office, and it’s certainly, I think, something that’s likely to be coming for us,” Mills said. 

As of Aug. 18, the COVID-19 Dashboard showed 12 active cases among students and three among faculty and staff. Additionally, two unrelated “clusters” of cases among students were identified on Aug. 17 and Aug. 18, respectively; Kotz said in the livestream that one of the clusters was among off-campus students. 

The on-campus vaccination rate is 94%, and the vaccination rate among the entire Dartmouth community is 85%. 


Dartmouth reinstitutes indoor mask mandate in public spaces

Aug. 5 | 1:40 p.m.

Dartmouth has reinstated a mask mandate for all indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status, citing the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 across the country. This decision comes just after Hanover’s renewal of its indoor mask mandate at an emergency Selectboard meeting last night. 

Face coverings are not required in “private, non-shared” spaces such as dorm rooms and individual offices, or when community members are actively eating or drinking, according to an email announcement from interim provost David Kotz and executive vice president Rick Mills. Masking is also not required outdoors. 

“We understand that much has been asked of you over the past 16 months and we do not take this step lightly,” Kotz and Mills wrote. “We believe that early intervention of this kind will offer us the best chance to avoid future disruptions and the earliest possible return to normalcy.” 

In the email, Kotz and Mills stated that Dartmouth’s “return to indoor masking is consistent with similar policies at our peer schools.” Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University and Yale University have all either maintained or reimposed their universal mask mandates. Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania have not reinstated a mask mandate as of press time, but both encourage indoor masking regardless of vaccination status. 

Kotz added in the email that the College will “likely” be requiring more frequent COVID-19 testing for vaccinated students and staff, but made no mention of changed social distancing guidelines or gathering restrictions. He said that the College hopes to “relax this requirement at the end of September.” Returning students will begin moving into their assigned dorm rooms on Sept. 11 and 12, according to the housing portal, and fall term classes begin on Sept. 13. 

As of Wednesday, there were three active student cases and seven active faculty and staff cases, according to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard. Eight of the active cases have been detected since August 1. 

The vaccination rate among the on-campus vaccination community is 93%, according to the dashboard, and the vaccination rate among the overall community is 82%. 


Hanover reinstates indoor mask mandate, College considering following

Aug. 4 | 9:15 p.m.

Citing the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 across the country, new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and an uptick in cases among members of the Dartmouth community, the Hanover Selectboard unanimously renewed the Town’s indoor mask mandate at an emergency meeting Wednesday evening. 

“We’re trying to protect our residents and the general public,” said town manager Julia Griffin at the meeting. “We’re making this decision … [to] keep our community as safe as possible.” 

The Selectboard voted only to reinstate the emergency mask ordinance “relative to the requirement for the wearing of masks indoors in restaurants, retail establishments, workplaces and gathering places,” according to the official wording of the vote, meaning that the outdoor masking requirement portion remains suspended. The ordinance was originally passed by the Selectboard in August 2020 and was suspended on June 14, 2021, the day after Dartmouth’s Commencement ceremony. 

The decision follows new CDC guidelines regarding masking for vaccinated individuals. The agency now recommends that masks be worn indoors in public even by fully vaccinated people in areas of “substantial” or “high” transmission, or if they have been exposed to someone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Additionally, the CDC now suggests that fully vaccinated individuals may also wish to wear masks regardless of the level of transmission in their area, especially if they or a member of their household are immunocompromised or at risk of severe disease from COVID-19.

Griffin said after the Selectboard meeting that though Grafton County is only experiencing “moderate transmission” — not substantial or high — as of Wednesday, the reinstatement of the indoor mask mandate is a preemptive measure.

“What unnerved us is looking at that significant jump in cases in a 24-hour period involving individuals who are already vaccinated at Dartmouth,” Griffin said, adding that New Hampshire has also seen a significant increase in cases over the past couple of days. 

Hanover Selectboard member Athos Rassias noted at the beginning of the meeting that the move comes despite high local vaccination rates. 

“The good news is, in northern New England, the rate of vaccination is higher than in many parts of the country,” Rassias said. “We’re still blessed with a little bit of a lower [COVID-19 transmission] rate, but that can change very quickly.”

The new guidelines have also been issued as the Delta variant, first detected in India in December, continues to spread across the country. The variant is the most infectious strain of COVID-19, is associated with an increased number of cases in younger individuals and has even been present in “breakthrough cases,” rare situations in which fully vaccinated individuals have become infected. 

A full course of a Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine still provides strong protection against severe infection and death — even in the case of infection by the Delta variant — and the rate of infection among vaccinated people is far lower than that among unvaccinated people.

Griffin also said that the College will be making a similar decision shortly. 

“This is in line with what Dartmouth wants to do, as quickly as they can implement this on campus,” Griffin told Selectboard members, adding that she expects a Dartmouth decision to cover all indoor facilities except dorm rooms and private offices. 

“Dartmouth is concerned by the rise in cases among fully vaccinated members of our community, and we are aware that the town of Hanover is considering an indoor mask mandate,” College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an emailed statement ahead of the Selectboard meeting. “We are discussing what steps we may want to take and will make an announcement soon.” 

As of Wednesday evening, there were three active student cases and seven active faculty and staff cases, according to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard. Eight of the cases have been detected since August 1. 

The vaccination rate among the on-campus vaccination community is 93%, according to the dashboard, and the vaccination rate among the overall community is 82%. 


COVID-19 Task Force to be disbanded this month, Hanlon announces

July 6 | 8:15 p.m.

The COVID-19 Task Force will be disbanded this month as the College continues its return to normal operations, College President Phil Hanlon announced today in an email to campus. 

As of July 6, the group — the existence of which was first announced on March 2, 2020 when the first Grafton County resident tested positive for COVID-19 — will no longer be asked to review or make decisions on campus operations pertaining to the pandemic. Instead, Hanlon wrote, each division of campus will be responsible for making its own determinations on an individual basis. 

“Now, following the very welcome announcement of reduced COVID-19 restrictions for the summer term, and with planning for fall well underway, we are ready to return to our normal decision-making processes,” Hanlon wrote. 

Hanlon added that decisions related to all remaining campus-wide restrictions — which are “expected to be lifted by late August” — will be handled by the offices of the Provost and executive vice president. Regular surveillance testing will continue into the fall, College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an emailed statement. 

COVID-19 Task Force co-chair Josh Keniston wrote in an emailed statement that leading the group had been “one of the outstanding challenges of my professional career.”

“So much about the last 16-months has been unprecedented, and it has felt like every time we figured something out, a new challenge would emerge,” he wrote. “I am very encouraged by the current state of our campus, regional, and national responses and am hopeful that we are on more solid ground at this point.” 

Task Force co-chair Lisa Adams did not respond to a request for comment by press time. 

Additionally, the Dartmouth COVID-19 dashboard will be updated twice a week rather than daily, Hanlon wrote. 

Lawrence clarified that the change will take place Aug. 1, and added that in the event of an outbreak on campus, the dashboard would return to daily updates.  

Hanlon also wrote that the College will continue to monitor the health situation, restoring parts of the task force if necessary. 

As of Tuesday evening, 87% of the on-campus population and 74% of the total Dartmouth community — including students, faculty and staff — have been vaccinated, according to the dashboard. There have been no active cases of COVID-19 during the weeks of June 27 or July 4, and one faculty or staff member is currently in isolation. 


College to lift nearly all COVID-19 restrictions Thursday, Helble announces

June 23 | 4:51 p.m.

During his final “Community Conversations” livestream on Wednesday, outgoing Provost Joseph Helble announced that starting Thursday, fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will no longer need to wear face coverings on campus, either outdoors or indoors, unless they display COVID-like symptoms. Additionally, Helble announced that physical distancing requirements will be lifted, all academic buildings would be open and accessible to students, and that there will be no restrictions placed on the size of on-campus gatherings. Dining restrictions will also be dropped, and seating will be “redensified” on July 6 and 7.

Additionally, Helble announced that all Dartmouth employees must be vaccinated by Sept. 1.

“I hope that the overarching message today is clear: through the efforts of many, we have made great, great progress, and summer looks to be a term of renewed connection and, for me, hope,” Helble said during the broadcast.

The announcement comes as 83% of students with on-campus access this summer are fully vaccinated as of Wednesday morning, according to Helble, and a week before all Dartmouth students must report completion of at least their first vaccination shot on June 30. The relaxing of campus restrictions follows the pause of the Town of Hanover’s mask mandate on June 14th and the end of New Hampshire’s public health state of emergency on June 11th. 

“All members of the community are encouraged to continue wearing face coverings if they simply feel more comfortable doing so,” Helble said, noting that some community members may be more or less comfortable with the relaxed restrictions

Helble asked the community  to “please be patient” as changes go into effect. 

“We are lifting these restrictions sooner than anticipated, given the changes in town requirements announced two days ago and our progress with vaccination,” he said. “Moving tables and chairs to redensify spaces will take a few weeks, perhaps to a month, to complete across campus, and I ask that we therefore all continue to think of summer as a term of transition, and ask for your understanding as these changes to physical places take place over the next several weeks.”

Previously, the College had announced that it anticipated that “full access” to campus would resume on August 1. Under this final stage of reopening — the last of five — masks may be required at indoor locations and there may be limits on the number of people permitted at dining locations. As of June 1, the College is in the “less limited access” phase of their reopening plan.

Other announcements Helble made during the livestream include the return of the “Take Your Professor to Lunch” program, the elimination of the daily temperature self-assessment survey for all students entering campus facilities, the expansion of outdoor activities offered by the Outdoor Programming Office and the reopening of the Moosilauke Lodge for dinners and programs and the Zimmerman Fitness Center for students. Faculty and staff will be able to access the fitness center at the end of the summer.


As Commencement ends, Hanover lifts mask mandate 

June 14 | 11:52 p.m.

In a unanimous decision on June 7, the Hanover Selectboard voted to lift the town’s mask mandate effective Monday. The suspension follows the exodus of thousands of visitors who had traveled to Hanover for the College’s Commencement ceremony. 

“[The town of Hanover] decided that we wanted to try and get to graduation weekend before we lifted the mask ordinance because we knew that was a time when we were going to see a large number of individuals traveling into the community,” Hanover town manager Julia Griffin said. 

According to Griffin, masking will no longer be required outdoors. Local businesses also have the discretion to lift their mask requirements, but Griffin noted that the town continues to “urge” these businesses to enforce masking, and she believes most will do so. The town will continue to require masks in municipal buildings until the New Hampshire vaccination rate is 70%, she said. 

Griffin added that the town advises fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks indoors in general unless they know with certainty that all other parties present are also fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals are advised to wear masks both outdoors and indoors, she said.

On June 5, the College lifted its outdoor mask mandate as the vaccination rate for Dartmouth students, faculty and staff on or near campus approached 70%. Hanover decided to hold off on lifting its ordinance, citing the influx of visitors for Commencement, inadequate vaccination rates for New Hampshire residents and New Hampshire’s “state of emergency” status, according to Griffin. 

However, she explained that climbing vaccination rates — roughly 52% of New Hampshire residents and 74% of Dartmouth’s “on-campus community” have been fully vaccinated as of June 14 — and the expiration of New Hampshire's state of emergency on June 11 contributed to the town’s decision. 

Griffin noted that the town has opted to “pause,” not rescind, the ordinance, pointing to rising concerns about residents receiving their first but not their second dose of the vaccine and the proliferation of the more deadly Delta variant of COVID-19. 

“If we remitted the ordinance, then we would have to go through a public hearing process to reenact that ordinance, which is a four-week wait time,” she said. “I hope we never have to use it again, but we are concerned enough about both the vaccination rates and variants that we thought, ‘let’s err on the side of caution.’”

On Monday, Vermont also became the first state to have given at least one shot to 80% of its residents. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott lifted all state COVID-19 restrictions in response, including the state’s mask mandate. 

As of June 14, the College’s COVID-19 dashboard reports just one active case. 


College ends outdoor mask mandate as vaccination rate climbs

June 5 | 4:42 p.m.

As the vaccination rate for Dartmouth students, faculty and staff on or near campus nears 70%, the College has loosened its face covering requirement. COVID-19 task force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston wrote in an email announcement on Friday that face coverings are no longer required in outdoor spaces on campus, including the Bema, outdoor athletics facilities and the Green. 

More than 69% of students, faculty and staff on or near campus have been vaccinated, Adams and Keniston wrote. The College’s COVID-19 dashboard shows that as of June 4, 54% of the total Dartmouth community has submitted proof of full vaccination to the College, including 67% of those near or on campus — not 69%. College spokesperson Diana Lawrence did not respond to a request to clarify the discrepancy by press time. 

The change comes as the College enters the fourth phase — “Less Limited Access” — of its five-phase campus reopening plan. In the fourth phase, Adams and Keniston wrote, in-person on-campus activities can begin expansion in accordance with prevention guidelines, and employees can begin planning with supervisors for a return to full access later this summer. 

According to the email announcement, Dartmouth community members must still adhere to Hanover’s mask-wearing ordinance and wear masks in outdoor public spaces that are not on the College’s property, such as sidewalks and streets. 

“If you are outside on Dartmouth property, you do not have to wear a mask even if you are within [six] feet of someone else,” Lawrence wrote in an email statement. 

The College continues to require mask-wearing in indoor spaces or at large gatherings, including the upcoming commencement or investiture ceremonies. Adams and Keniston wrote that the future relaxation of indoor mask-wearing will depend on vaccination rates and pandemic regulations in the local community. 

“We are following the rising vaccination rates in our community, along with the town of Hanover’s pandemic regulations,” they wrote. “We will anticipate relaxing indoor mask-wearing as soon as those two elements make it possible.”

Beginning July 1, testing will be reduced to once a month for all fully vaccinated employees and students, and the TSA daily temperature and self-assessment screening tool will also discontinue. Any unvaccinated employees coming to campus will still be required to be tested twice a week, and individuals who would otherwise like to be tested more frequently will have the option to do so, the email said. 

In the May 26 “Community Conversations,” College Provost Joseph Helble said that the College is moving towards requiring all employees to be vaccinated and plans to offer to faculty and staff the same medical and religious exemptions that are currently available to students. He added that the policy will be in place before the start of the summer term. 

“All employees should anticipate that that is the direction we are heading and is quite likely where we are going to land, with final details worked through and announced within the next month,” Helble said. 


COVID-19 at Dartmouth, in New Hampshire on the wane as spring term ends

June 1 | 12:12 a.m.

As students head into finals for the spring, widespread vaccinations have pushed COVID-19 infections to low levels both on campus and in New Hampshire. 

According to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of May 28, there were just two active cases of COVID-19 —  both students — among students, faculty and staff. The last two weeks have seen just two positive tests each, resulting in positivity rates below 0.1%. The low levels of infection represent a steep decline from the spring term peak of 36 active cases on April 2, and the total number of active cases has been in the single digits since April 23. 

As cases remain low, vaccinations have soared: 60% of Dartmouth students, faculty and staff on or near campus have reported that they are fully vaccinated to the College. Additionally, 47% of the total Dartmouth community — which includes students who are not living locally and any faculty and staff who have not been to campus in the last 14 days — are fully vaccinated. 

There is a slight difference between the share of students reporting full vaccination and the share of faculty and staff reporting as such. 3,297 students — 49% of 6,670 total — and 1,923 faculty and staff members — 43% of 4,434 total — have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The College has announced that vaccinations will be mandatory for all students on campus in the fall, but has not said the same for faculty and staff.

The positive COVID-19 outlook at Dartmouth mirrors that of the states of New Hampshire and Vermont: COVID-19 cases in both states have both collapsed since peaks in early April, according to data from The New York Times. New Hampshire on May 30 saw a seven-day average of just 60 new cases per day, down 86% from a peak of 443 on April 12. Vermont’s seven-day average on May 30 was just 15 new cases per day, down 92% from a peak of 190 on April 4. 

Additionally, Vermont boasts the highest rate of full vaccinations in the country at 54% of its population, according to data from The New York Times, and New Hampshire holds sixth place at 48%. Vermont has also administered at least one vaccine dose to 70% of its population — again, the highest of any state — while New Hampshire’s 60% still earns it the number seven spot nationwide. 

In Grafton County, 56% of residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including 84% of residents over 65 and 63% of residents over 12, the youngest able to get a vaccine. 


College to move to “less limited access” June 1, “full access” by Aug. 1

May 13 | 10:40 p.m. 

In an email today to the Dartmouth community, COVID-19 task force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston announced that the College intends to move to phase four, “less limited access,” of its reopening plan on June 1. The change comes amid “anticipated improvement” in pandemic conditions and changes to government guidelines. 

In this phase, masking and COVID-19 testing twice a week will still be required, although students who have submitted their proof of vaccination will have reduced testing requirements. Students will only be required to maintain three feet of distance but must maintain six feet of distance while dining or engaging in physical activity. 

Visitors may now access outdoor spaces on campus without prior approval. To access indoor spaces, however, visitors must be registered by a Dartmouth staff or faculty member and must adhere to the College’s visitor requirements.

The restrictions on events will be loosened in the new phase: Pre-approved events in spaces managed by the Conference and Events department will now have a cap of 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors, barring a “special exemption,” the email said. These events, with the exception of commencement and investiture, will not allow guests. 

Additionally, the number of College employees working on campus will begin to ramp up from the current roughly 1,000 each week “as additional services are provided,” Adams and Keniston wrote, though remote working is still encouraged. 

Vice president of communications Justin Anderson did not immediately reply to a request for comment on whether the changes implemented as part of the move to “Less Limited Access” would impact student building access policies, capacity limits in on-campus spaces or Greek spaces’ ability to hold events. 

Further details will be added to Dartmouth’s COVID-19 website next week, the email said. 

More details on the anticipated move to “Full Access” on Aug. 1 will be developed over the coming months, according to Adams and Keniston. 

Come August, the majority of classes will return to in-person instruction, though some graduate and professional school classes may remain hybrid or online. Studios, laboratories, dormitories, buildings and communal spaces will return to full capacity, the email said.

Dining halls, however, may still limit the number of people at tables, and masks “may be required for indoor communal locations.” A small number of dorm rooms will be left empty for quarantine and isolation. 

The email noted that all students will be required to be fully vaccinated with a vaccine that has received full approval or emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration or emergency use listing by the World Health Organization. As of Thursday, that includes five vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, University of Oxford/AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and Sinopharm, according to a vaccine tracker from The New York Times. 

The College’s announcement comes the same day as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s announcement that fully vaccinated people may safely forgo masks and social distancing in any setting  — both indoor and outdoor — except in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and public transport or where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations.

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people may resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel andself-quarantining following travel. 

Anderson was unable to be reached for comment regarding discrepancies between the CDC’s and the College’s updated guidelines.

As of Thursday, there are three active cases of COVID-19 at Dartmouth, according to the College’s dashboard — one student and two faculty and staff. 30% of the total Dartmouth community is fully vaccinated, and 39% of the on-campus community — which includes students living in the Upper Valley and faculty or staff who have been on campus in the last fourteen days — is fully vaccinated.


COVID-19 dashboard now reporting vaccination data

May 5 | 11:18 p.m. 

After months of tracking cases and quarantine capacity, the College’s COVID-19 dashboard has a new feature: vaccination statistics. 

As of Wednesday, the dashboard shows that 1,327 Dartmouth students — out of 6,670 total — and 835 faculty and staff members — out of 4,434 total — have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have shared proof of vaccination with the College.

Of the 4,026 “active” students living on or off campus in the Upper Valley, 1,085 have been fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, 286 of the 2,189 faculty and staff members who have been on campus at least once in the past 14 days have shared their fully vaccinated status with the College.

In total, 19% of the total Dartmouth community and 22% of the “on-campus” Dartmouth community has shared their vaccinated status.

In the April 28 “Community Conversations,” College Provost Joseph Helble noted that Dartmouth “still [has] quite a way to go to reach this overall 70% to 90% goal and achieve herd immunity.”

According to College spokesperson Diana Lawrence, 26% of Dartmouth students living on campus and locally are at least 14 days past their final dose and have submitted their vaccine documentation and given consent to share the vaccine information with the College. She added that the College will soon include the number of partially vaccinated students living on campus and locally.

Dartmouth is not currently requiring faculty and staff to be vaccinated prior to the start of the fall term, Lawrence said. Students, however, must get vaccinated for the fall, Helble announced in the April 14 installment of “Community Conversations.”

Lawrence wrote that to report their vaccination records, students, faculty and staff members are required to submit a picture of the front and back of their completed vaccine card and fill out a consent form. 

According to the dashboard, as of Wednesday, there are currently eight active cases of COVID-19 — four among students and four among faculty or staff — at Dartmouth. 


College expands access to on-campus vaccination clinics, will likely offer both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines

April 27 | 6:55 p.m. 

In an email today to the Dartmouth community, COVID-19 task force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston announced additional details regarding the first-dose COVID-19 vaccination clinics that the College will offer on campus on May 5 and May 6. 

The state of New Hampshire will “most likely” provide doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and “a limited number of” Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines for the on-campus clinics, Adams and Keniston wrote. The email emphasized that vaccine type is not guaranteed “with certainty,” but that the College currently plans to administer Pfizer vaccines from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by Johnson & Johnson vaccines from 5:35 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on both days. 

Those who have already signed up for an appointment are automatically registered to receive a Pfizer vaccine. Individuals who wish to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will need to cancel their current appointment and reschedule a new appointment at https://health-clinics.dartmouth.edu/

Additionally, access to the on-campus clinics has been expanded to include dependents, partners and household members of Dartmouth students, staff and faculty who are 18 years of age or older regardless of state residency, Adams and Keniston wrote. As previously announced, appointments are only available to those who have not yet received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The deadline to sign up is April 29 at 11:59 p.m. 

“We are excited to be able to offer this increased access for our community,” Adams and Keniston wrote. 

Dartmouth dependents, partners and household members can sign up at https://dartgo.org/vaxregfam. Dartmouth students, staff and faculty can sign up at http://dartgo.org/vaxappt

According to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of Tuesday, there are currently six active cases of COVID-19 at Dartmouth, including four among students and two among faculty and staff. Since April 18, just three positive test results have been reported out of over 9,000 tests administered. 


COVID-19 task force announces on-campus vaccination site

April 23 | 5:10 p.m. | Updated 6:30 p.m.

COVID-19 task force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston announced today in an email to the Dartmouth community that the College has finalized a partnership with New Hampshire to offer first-dose COVID-19 vaccination clinics on campus.  Dartmouth students, faculty and staff 18 years and older will be eligible to receive their first dose of the vaccine on May 5 and May 6 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m at Thompson Arena.

The appointments are only available for individuals who haven’t received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, director of Dartmouth College Health Service Mark Reed wrote in an earlier email sent out to on-campus students. Those who have already received their first dose will need to schedule their second dose “directly” through the state. 

The clinics will be open to “everyone regardless of whether they are residents of New Hampshire,” Adams and Keniston wrote. 

College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email statement that any students who are considered “active” are eligible for the vaccine clinic, adding that students do not need to be taking classes this term. She noted that the clinics are intended for people within driving distance of campus.

Eligible individuals interested in receiving their first dose of the vaccine through the on-campus site will need to complete a consent form and schedule the appointment. Reed wrote that appointments are available on a first come, first serve basis and encouraged community members to register “as soon as possible.”

To pre-register individuals for their vaccination appointment, the College is required to provide name, date of birth, gender, race, ethnicity and mailing address to the State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, according to Reed. Lawrence wrote that students should also bring their Dartmouth ID to their vaccine appointments. 

The vaccines provided will be either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, according to Adams and Keniston. 

Lawrence wrote that the College has been allocated 2,000 doses of vaccines for the on-campus vaccination clinics and expects to administer all of these doses.. If there are excess doses, the College will follow New Hampshire protocols, she added. 

However, because the College doesn’t currently know which type of vaccine it will receive, it can’t book second doses for people, according to Lawrence. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires three weeks between doses, while the Moderna vaccine requires four. 

“Our goal is to offer another set of campus clinics to offer follow-up doses to those who received first doses,” Lawrence wrote. 

The College will announce the dates of clinics to provide a second dose of the vaccine for individuals who received their first dose at Dartmouth “as soon as those details have been finalized,” wrote Adams and Keniston. 

Lawrence wrote that there are no plans to offer additional first-dose clinics at this time.

Vaccines can be booked online at http://dartgo.org/vaxappt. 

This article has been updated to include information provided by College spokesperson Diana Lawrence.

 

COVID-19 task force announces expanded summer facility access, planned on-campus vaccine clinics

April 16 | 8:15 p.m.

COVID-19 task force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston announced in an email to the Dartmouth community today that non-enrolled undergraduate students employed in the Upper Valley community and those working on research with a faculty sponsor may access campus facilities starting this summer. 

College spokesperson Diana Lawrence clarified in an email statement that the policy does not apply to the spring term, and that the waitlist process allowing enrolled students living off campus to access campus facilities remains in effect. Details about the process for the summer term will be provided “later this spring,” she added. 

The College also anticipates being able to offer on-campus vaccine clinics in partnership with New Hampshire starting the week of May 3 and “will share additional information about that opportunity shortly,” according to the task force’s email. 

The task force email also announced that faculty, staff and students engaging in Dartmouth-sponsored travel outside New England will be required to enter their plans into the College’s updated travel registry. 


“Community Conversations” livestream focuses on mandatory vaccinations and summer term updates

April 16 | 1:30 a.m.

On Wednesday, Provost Joseph Helble announced in a “Community Conversations” livestream that all students will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccination prior to the start of fall term. Any students not vaccinated upon returning to campus, according to Helble, will be required to receive a vaccination soon after arrival. 

The aim of mandating vaccinations is to reach herd immunity by the fall term, Helble said. College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email statement that experts estimate between 70% and 90% vaccination rates are necessary for herd immunity, but the College will not set a “threshold” and will “provide updates as summer term approaches.” 

Before arriving on campus, students will need to show proof that they have received a Food and Drug Administration-approved COVID-19 vaccination by submitting documentation to the Dartmouth College Health Service, according to Lawrence. Students may request religious or medical exemptions from the vaccination requirement by contacting the Health Service as well, Lawrence added.  

International students and any other students who have received a vaccine unapproved by the FDA or who have not been vaccinated will be required to receive an approved vaccine upon arrival in the fall, Lawrence wrote, and will be subject to quarantine recommendations informed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New Hampshire guidelines. 

Despite CDC guidelines that allow for unrestricted domestic travel for fully vaccinated individuals, the College continues to “discourage” personal domestic travel regardless of vaccination status in order to “reduce disease transmission in our community,” Lawrence wrote.

Additional details about the summer term were also revealed in the “Community Conversations” broadcast. Associate dean of residential life Michael Wooten confirmed that there may be a “30 to 40% increase” in the number of students on campus compared to a typical summer term, which he characterized as an “on-ramp” to “the intensity and the density of the fall.”

Lawrence wrote that the Dean’s Office will be working with the COVID-19 Task Force and other experts to confirm arrival testing and quarantine needs and “other adjustments that might be made for summer.” 

“We will continue to follow mask wearing, physical distancing and other health guidelines, but summer operations will be well-positioned to support those approved to be here,” Lawrence wrote. 

On Thursday, the Office of Residential Life sent an email to undergraduate students announcing a summer term waitlist process for on-campus housing for students taking classes this summer. The waitlist opened at 12 p.m. on Thursday and will close at 12 p.m. on April 20; results will be available on April 21. First priority will be given to members of the Classes of 2022 and 2023 who are not currently approved, the email said. 

According to Lawrence, the College will be in touch with approved students about housing in the coming weeks. 

Lawrence wrote that before the College can confirm all students will have access to air-conditioned housing — as was the case in the summer of 2019 — the school needs to confirm how many students will be on campus, adding that more details will be released in the coming weeks.

As for the fall term, Helble said that the College expects to hold fall classes entirely in person, with campus returning to full density.

Helble stated that over the past two weeks, the College has administered over 18,000 tests and had 17 positive cases, culminating in a positivity rate of just under 0.1%. 

According to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of Thursday, there are currently 12 active cases of COVID-19 at Dartmouth, which includes 9 student cases and 3 cases among faculty and staff. 


To benefit from eased College restrictions, fully vaccinated students must submit documentation

April 9 | 9:02 p.m.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to share documentation of their vaccination status with the College, College Health Service director Mark Reed wrote in an email to all undergraduate, graduate and professional students on Friday. Fully vaccinated students must submit this documentation in order to benefit from eased COVID-19 restrictions, according to the email.

In the email, Reed encouraged students to email photos of their vaccine cards to the medical records office 14 days after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 14 days after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Both students who have already submitted their vaccine cards and those who plan to should also fill out a consent form on the Health Service’s website, and processing will take five to seven days, the email said.

Reed wrote that students who satisfy these criteria will be able to “receive the benefits” that the College has decided to offer vaccinated students, including a decrease in COVID-19 screening testing frequency from twice to once a week, a waiver on the quarantine requirement following domestic travel and the ability to gather off campus in small, fully-vaccinated groups. Reed also wrote that as the percentage of vaccinated faculty, staff and students increases, the speed with which the College can transition to normal operations will also increase.

COVID-19 task force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston wrote in a separate email to the Dartmouth community on Friday that the College is in contact with state and regional health officials about establishing vaccination sites on or near campus. More information about such an initiative, as well as revised travel guidelines for community members, will be available next week, Adams and Keniston wrote. 


New Hampshire to remove residency rules for vaccine by April 19

April 9 | 12:15 a.m.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday that beginning April 19, New Hampshire will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all individuals over 16 years old, regardless of their residency. The announcement came two weeks after Sununu excluded out-of-state college students when expanding the state’s vaccine eligibility to New Hampshire residents over 16, a decision that drew criticism from the Hanover and Dartmouth communities. 

According to Sununu, there are 240,000 first dose appointments available to schedule in the state’s vaccine registration system through Memorial Day, which would allow “plenty” of New Hampshire residents to schedule an appointment or move up their appointments to an earlier date.

Sununu also wrote on Twitter that because every state in the country will have expanded vaccine eligibility to all by April 19, expanding New Hampshire’s will not prompt “a run on the system that will cause delays for NH residents.” On Tuesday, President Joe Biden called for all states to make vaccines available to all adults by April 19, two weeks earlier than his original deadline of May 1. 

Additionally, on Wednesday evening, the College’s Student Employment Office sent personalized letters that verify the employment status and New Hampshire payroll mailing address for many student employees who have been paid in the past 60 days. The office encouraged students to bring the letters and most recent payslips — from within the past 60 days — to their vaccine appointments. 

According to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of Thursday, there are 19 active cases of COVID-19 at Dartmouth — a decline from 36 a week ago. Among these cases are 14 students and 5 faculty and staff. Thirty-nine students are in quarantine, while 15 are in isolation. 

The two currently active clusters on campus, each including at least three students, were identified on March 29 and April 1, respectively. A third cluster, which included at least four individuals, was identified March 29 and closed as of Monday.  


College eases COVID-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated students

April 6 | 6:02 p.m.

COVID-19 task force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston wrote in an email to the Dartmouth community today that students who are fully vaccinated may gather in private spaces off campus without adhering to the six-foot social distancing protocol or wearing face coverings. 

Faculty and staff who have been fully vaccinated must follow “all applicable” state and local requirements when gathering off campus either indoors or outdoors, Adams and Keniston wrote. 

Additionally, faculty, staff and students who have been vaccinated can submit documentation to either Axiom Medical or to the Dartmouth College Health Service “later this week” in order to qualify for reduced testing frequency. The decreased testing for vaccinated individuals will begin on April 12. 

Unmasked and non-distanced gatherings at private, off campus locations are still limited to no more than nine individuals, and all attendees must be fully vaccinated, they wrote. However, because of the “difficulty of defining a household in the student population,” the College will not be adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance allowing one unvaccinated household to gather with a vaccinated household. 

Because “many members” of the College community remain unvaccinated, Adams and Keniston cautioned that all members of the community, regardless of vaccination status, must continue to follow masking and physical distancing protocols in all indoor and outdoor locations on-campus as well as in public spaces off campus.

Approximately 600 Dartmouth employees and students have been vaccinated through the College’s recent partnership with the state of New Hampshire in phases 2A and 2B at the West Lebanon clinic, according to Adams and Keniston. 

The email also stated that starting yesterday, undergraduate students living locally who are enrolled in spring term and have not been granted on-campus access are able to apply for access through a waitlist process offered by Student Affairs. Applicants will be notified of their status by the “end of the week” in an email from Dean of the College Kathryn Lively. Local students who are not enrolled are not eligible.


Total active cases steady at 36, 95 students in quarantine or isolation

April 2 | 7:32 p.m.

As of Friday, there are 34 active cases of COVID-19 among students and 2 among faculty and staff. This week has seen 14 members of the Dartmouth community test positive, yielding a positivity rate of .25%, while 57 students are in quarantine and 38 are in isolation.

There are currently three unrelated clusters in the student population. Two clusters were identified March 29 — one of “at least” three people and one of “at least” four people — and the new third cluster, identified Thursday, has “at least” three people. 

The cluster of at least nine linked COVID-19 cases identified at the Tuck School of Business  March 22 has been resolved as of Friday, according to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard. 

In an email to students with on-campus access for the spring on Thursday, Dean of the College Kathryn Lively wrote that arrival quarantine will end on Thursday for students who arrived on March 24. On Friday, College Health Service director Mark Reed clarified in another email to on-campus students that because of a delay in the processing of tests conducted Thursday and Friday, the College will release students from quarantine “in batches” as soon as their negative results come out. 

A similar delay in testing results prompted a one-day quarantine extension in the winter term. 

Following arrival quarantine, Dartmouth Dining will resume limited indoor seating on Sunday. Students — regardless of vaccination status — are required to test twice weekly for the virus, though those in recovery from COVID-19 are exempt from the testing requirement, according to the College. 

New Hampshire residents 16 and older can now sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at www.vaccines.nh.gov or call 2-1-1 to register. The state is currently administering vaccines at a limited number of locations where participants must show proof of N.H. residency: a New Hampshire driver’s license, or a paystub or government check from the last 60 days listing a New Hampshire address.


Active cases jump to 35, two new clusters identified as students return from spring break travel

March 30 | 9:00 p.m.

As of Tuesday, there are 35 active cases of COVID-19 among students and one among faculty and staff, according to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard. Two new clusters among “the student population” were identified on March 29, just a week after a cluster of nine cases was identified at the Tuck School of Business on March 22. 

College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email statement that the two new clusters have three and four students, respectively, and that none of the three clusters identified among undergraduate and graduate students are related. 

According to Lawrence, the uptick in new cases — up from ten student cases and two faculty and staff on March 22 — is linked to spring break travel, and students who tested positive are isolating both on and off campus. The increased case count following spring break, she wrote, is “not surprising.”

“When people are on the move, so is COVID-19,” Lawrence wrote. 

She added that the College will evaluate the number of active cases but currently has no plans to change the arrival quarantine conditions. Lawrence also noted that the COVID-19 task force will communicate with campus if protocols change. 

In addition to cases identified on and near campus, 10 undergraduate pre-arrival tests have come back positive as of Tuesday, and the students are isolated at home, Lawrence wrote. 


College identifies cluster of linked COVID-19 cases at Tuck

March 23 | 12:10 a.m.

The College has identified a cluster of at least nine linked COVID-19 cases, according to Dartmouth’s COVID-19 dashboard. In an email sent to Tuck School of Business students, faculty and staff on Monday announcing the new positive tests, Tuck dean Matthew Slaughter wrote that the cases, all among members of Tuck’s student community, were identified as a part of the school’s return-to-campus protocol following its spring break. 

Tuck executive director of marketing and communications Lindsey Walter confirmed that Tuck will still hold its first week of spring term remotely, as planned before cases were identified, in order to provide enough time for students to adhere to arrival testing and quarantine requirements post-break.

As of Monday evening, the College’s dashboard lists 10 active student cases, with nine students in quarantine and 10 in isolation. Additionally, two faculty and staff members are in quarantine, and seven are in isolation. Seven of the 346 tests conducted over the week of March 21 have come back positive, yielding a test positivity rate of just over 2%. 


Student cases drop to 57, faculty and staff cases up by one

March 9 | 10:44 p.m.

As of Tuesday, 57 students are currently positive for COVID-19 — down from 75 on Monday. Four faculty and staff members are positive, up from Monday’s three.

Meanwhile, the number of students in quarantine and isolation has increased by five. The number of students in quarantine — 47 — nearly quadrupled since Monday, while the number of students in isolation dropped to 53. Eight faculty and staff members are in quarantine, and nine are in isolation.

Just one of the 913 tests conducted so far this week has come back positive.


College eases quarantine restrictions as student cases drop to 75

March 8 | 7:41 p.m.

Active COVID-19 cases among students dropped to 75 on Monday. As planned, the College eased phase two quarantine restrictions at 8 a.m., allowing for the resumption of in-person courses and the reopening of certain campus facilities.

Baker-Berry Library has reopened, along with the Collis Center, the Top of the Hop, Kemeny Hall, Alumni Gymnasium and Zimmerman Fitness Center, but dining will remain takeout-only, and students may not gather in residence halls or hallways, according to a Monday email from COVID-19 task force co-chairs Dr. Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston. Residence hall common spaces and kitchens will also remain closed.

Adams and Keniston reminded the community to “mask up everywhere” and maintain social distance. They noted that in light of recently released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines stating that fully vaccinated people can gather maskless with other fully vaccinated people, among other guidance, Dartmouth will be updating campus policies in the coming weeks. 

In addition to the decrease in student cases, the number of students in quarantine plummeted to 13 — down from 70 on Sunday — and the number of students in isolation dropped from 105 to 82.

Faculty and staff cases remain at three, while quarantine and isolation numbers have dropped to seven and nine, respectively.


Ahead of expected end to quarantine, student case count drops to 95

March 7 | 7:40 p.m.

Active cases among students dropped to 95 on Sunday, down five from Saturday’s count. Seventy students are in quarantine as of Sunday, and 105 are in isolation — a significant decrease from Saturday’s counts of 124 and 130, respectively.

The reductions in cases and quarantine and isolation counts come ahead of Monday morning’s expected end to phase two quarantine restrictions. Provost Joseph Helble wrote on Friday that the quarantine would end at 8 a.m., provided that the weekend saw no “major COVID-19 guideline violations” and no daily case count increases of more than five.

The case count among faculty and staff remains at