March 16, 2020, Update

March 16, 2020, Update

To the Dartmouth community,

We write to share information that three Dartmouth students living off-campus in the Upper Valley have been tested for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the results are pending. These students are comfortable, in touch with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, receiving care, and self-isolating, while their close contacts have been notified and are self-quarantining.

To swiftly interrupt COVID-19 transmission, we need to identify and ensure that all individuals with potential infection are tested and taking appropriate precautions. It is critical for anyone experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, to seek medical care. In young, healthy adults, the symptoms may be mild. Therefore, students who have any respiratory symptoms, and especially those who have traveled internationally in the last two weeks, should call their health care provider. Dartmouth students should contact Dick's House at 603-646-9400 and faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider.

We continue to monitor this situation very closely and are tracking other members of our extended community who have or will be tested. The College is prepared to respond immediately in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 on our campus.

Based on the most recent CDC guidance, we are canceling or postponing in-person events that consist of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks (through May 9). Large gatherings are opportunities to introduce the virus into new communities. Additional institutional protocols, including social distancing and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures, have been implemented to help maintain the health and safety of our community. No matter where you are, there are two key things you can do from a public health perspective to protect yourself and others: Practice good hygiene and avoid groups of people.

Everyday actions can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; and staying home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We understand that this is a stressful and uncertain time for many people in our community. We remain in close communication with state health officials and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and are coordinating efforts with colleagues across the institution to ensure everyone's continued health and safety.

For additional information, please visit the Dartmouth COVID-19 website at https://dartmouth.edu/covid19.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lisa Adams
Joshua Keniston
Co-chairs, Dartmouth COVID-19 Task Force