June 11, 2020 Update
To the community,
As our Dartmouth COVID-19 Task Force continues to address pandemic-related issues in preparation for the new academic year, the ongoing protests against systemic and systematic racism remind us how this pandemic has disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minorities in myriad ways. At a time when there is so much need for dialogue and community across our country, it is especially frustrating to be unable to be together in the same physical space. We understand how disheartening that can be.
The task force has developed a phased approach to bringing our community back to campus in a responsible way. This approach is influenced by many factors including local, state, and federal guidance; levels of virus transmission; testing; contact tracing; and our ability to ready our facilities as required. The five levels in this phased approach include: essential access only; highly restricted access; limited access; less-limited access; and full access. See details about the levels.
Details about the process to develop appropriate plans and request approval to come back on-site will be shared with managers next week. At this time, Dartmouth remains in the highly restricted access phase, and those employees who have been working remotely should continue to do so unless you have received approval to return. As we move into July, we hope to have processes in place to enable more staff to return to on-campus work.
NEW FACE COVERING POLICY
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, Dartmouth now requires all persons to wear cloth face coverings at all times when using or accessing shared or communal spaces at any Dartmouth worksite and also when a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Six feet of physical distancing, often referred to as social distancing, remains important in slowing the spread of the virus.
Even when physical distancing can be maintained, a cloth face covering is required as an additional public health measure to help prevent the spread of the virus from a person who may be carrying it but does not have symptoms. A cloth face covering is not considered personal protective equipment (PPE) and does not protect the wearer from the virus.
Employees whose jobs require the use of PPE will be provided with appropriate face masks to meet PPE standards applicable to their positions. Cloth face coverings are just one protective measure, and are not a substitute for physical distancing, regular hand washing and hand sanitizing, and additional cleaning protocols. See detailed information on this policy.
Dartmouth's guidance on travel and quarantine requirements follows current guidance from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. See the latest New Hampshire guidance for employees and travel.
According to this guidance, anyone who has traveled internationally (including to Canada), traveled on public conveyances outside of New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine, or who has been on a cruise, should quarantine for 14 days when they return and before returning to campus. Public conveyances include, but are not limited to, airplanes, trains, subways, buses, boats, vans, ride-shares, or taxis used by the public, whether for compensation or not. Public conveyances do not include privately owned vehicles used for private purposes.
Those who can self-quarantine and work remotely may do so. If you are traveling outside of New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine and are not using a public conveyance, no quarantine is required upon your return. If traveling, individuals should check and follow quarantine requirements in their final destination as well. We recognize that travel recommendations and quarantine requirements vary by state, including between New Hampshire and Vermont. Everyone is expected to follow their state's quarantine requirements outside of their work hours.
Given the risk of transmission and restrictions on travel, visitors who have not received specific authorization to be at Dartmouth should not come to campus. Please stay healthy and safe.
Dr. Lisa Adams
Co-chairs, Dartmouth COVID-19 Task Force