March 2, 2020, Update

March 2, 2020, Update

To the Dartmouth community,

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the first person in our region, Grafton County, to test positively for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The text of the message that Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center President Joanne Conroy has sent to the DHMC community follows at the end of this email. We remain in close contact with DHMC on issues related to the case.

Dartmouth recently formed a high-level task force to plan for and manage possible disruptions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, monitor federal and state recommendations, implement guidance, and communicate with our community. The task force is now meeting daily to synthesize the latest information, consult with experts, analyze risk, and prepare for various scenarios. The health and well-being of our community members is our priority.

Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has recommended considering the postponement or cancellation of student foreign exchange programs, we are reviewing the feasibility of continuing with our spring term off-campus programs. We expect to announce a decision later this week.

We recognize that this is a stressful time for many members of our community.

For more information on COVID-19, please consult the following resources:

Dartmouth COVID-19 information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs

Joseph Helble
Provost

Message from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center President Joanne Conroy COVID-19:

The NH Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the first person in our region, Grafton County, to test positively for the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. Incident Command was activated this morning. D-HH leadership has established assessment and planning/operational groups to actively address this issue and our High Threat Infection (HTI) team has implemented its response plans. The positive response, as consistent with protocol, will be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Consistent with federal and state laws governing patient confidentiality, we will not provide any information on the patient other than to say that the patient is an employee of DHMC in Lebanon. The patient is currently isolated at home and is being monitored by the state for any worsening of symptoms.

We are working with the state, and have a clear plan on the travel pattern of this patient and to follow up with any others with whom the patient may have had contact since exposure. As you may expect this is a very fluid situation and forthcoming details will be provided later today.

You can find the Epidemic Response Plan here. You can also review D-H policies and procedures related to High Threat Infections here.

Thank you for your understanding and for all that you do to help keep our patients -- and each other -- healthy and safe.