Important Updates

Updated March 30, 2020, 6:37 p.m.

Topics

Summer Term Programs Update, March 30, 2020

Dartmouth has made the decision to suspend all undergraduate international programs for the full summer term and all domestic summer term programs scheduled for the months of June and July. This includes all summer term study-abroad undergraduate programs, including language study abroad (LSA), foreign study programs (FSP), and exchange programs; and Dartmouth-supported leave-term programs such as internships, research grants, and fellowships. Students who are pursuing leave-term opportunities that can be fulfilled remotely or with an alternative set-up from their current location and requiring no air travel may request an exemption from this policy. This decision does not apply to programs run by the graduate and professional schools, and students will be notified by their respective school regarding decisions about such programs

Vermont/New Hampshire Stay-at-Home Update, March 27, 2020

How do stay-at-home orders from the governors of Vermont and New Hampshire affect Dartmouth?

Recent emergency orders from N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott restricting and minimizing activities outside of the home permit Dartmouth to continue its existing arrangements for core campus operations and remote teaching and working. The safety and wellbeing of our employees is our highest concern during this difficult time. Employees who have questions about their ability to work on campus should speak with their supervisor/manager about their concerns.


Empathy and Inclusion Update, March 24, 2020

During this difficult time, it is important to practice empathy and inclusion. No one is at a higher health risk because of their racial, ethnic, cultural, or other identity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Misinformation about COVID-19 can spark fear and hostility that hurts people and makes it difficult to stay healthy. We are stronger as a community when we stand together against discrimination and share information that we know to be factual. See the CDC website for suggestions on combating social stigma during this health crisis.

Spring Term Changes, Update, March 17, 2020

We have made the decision that all spring term classes, both undergraduate and graduate, will be conducted by remote learning for the full term. There will be no in-person option to attend classes on campus after May 1. This was a difficult decision that we know will be frustrating and disappointing for many of our students. Unfortunately, we are not alone. Across the country, many colleges and universities are taking similar steps in reducing the number of people on their campuses as a way to protect communities from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We recognize that many students will have questions related to this transition to a full remote learning term, including financial questions. A group of administrators is working on further guidance related to billing and financial aid issues and will be in touch on this topic soon.

Throughout the 10-week term the Dartmouth campus will remain open, faculty and staff⁠—including union employees—will be paid as usual, and graduate students will continue to receive their stipends.

At the recommendation of the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Geisel School of Medicine has suspended all clinical rotations, effective today. This includes clerkships and electives.
 

Tuck School of Business Spring Term, March 18, 2020

The Tuck School of Business is moving all MBA courses to remote-only learning for the entire spring term, with no option for students to attend class in person. To the extent possible, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities will also be delivered remotely during this time.
 

On-Campus Research Ramp-Down

Like many of our peer institutions, Dartmouth has decided to ramp-down and pause on-campus research activities. Our goal is to minimize in-person contacts to limit the opportunities for the spread of the novel coronavirus, including interactions among our researchers, support staff, and the public. This is not a decision to cease research or scholarship at Dartmouth. However, beginning on Monday, March 23, research staff and students must perform their scholarly work remotely, unless an extension for on-campus work has been granted to use a laboratory. We will be working with all members of the academic and funding communities to minimize the negative impact on faculty, staff, and students, each of whom will receive further information later today regarding this decision from the vice provost for research.

Faculty committee work, including tenure and promotion reviews and decisions, will continue to be conducted during spring term.
 

Athletics

The Ivy League presidents announced their unanimous decision to cancel all spring athletics competition and practices for the remainder of the academic year. In light of the pandemic, and the growing number of schools that have moved classes online for the rest of their semesters, it is no longer feasible for these competitions and practices to continue. This is a heavy blow to our student-athletes, who have sacrificed and trained so hard in their respective sports, and we regret the impact of these circumstances. The league also stated that winter teams and student-athletes who have qualified for postseason play will be able to participate in league competitions. However, the NCAA announced that all winter and spring championships have been canceled. Read the NCAA announcement.
 

Social Distancing 

Social distancing means:

  • Remaining away from settings where people are meeting
  • Try to stay home and only go out for essentials reasons like food and medicine
  • Avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately six feet) from others when possible 
  • Remain alert for respiratory symptoms (a cough or shortness of breath) and fever. 
  • Practice strict respiratory etiquette and hygiene. This includes covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is not available.
     

Self-Observation

If you have traveled from or transited through an area with a CDC Travel Health Notice Level 1 or 2you are required to self-observe for 14 days. Monitor your health and practice social distancing

If you feel feverish or develop a cough or shortness of breath, please seek health advice. Before going to a doctor's office or emergency room call ahead and tell the provider or office about your recent travel and symptoms. Students should contact Dartmouth College Health Service (Dick's House).  Dick's House will monitor all students who should be in self-quarantine or self-isolation.


Self-Quarantine for 14 Days

Useful Definitions: Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

After March 4, 2020, if you are returning from a country with a CDC Travel Health Notice Level 3, you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days in accordance with current Dartmouth guidance. 

Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Students should contact Dartmouth College Health Service (Dick's House).  Dick's House will monitor all students who should be in self-quarantine or self-isolation.

Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
     

Teach Remotely

Guidelines for faculty on how to teach from anywhere can be found on Dartmouth's Teach Remotely website.


Surgical Masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend the use of surgical masks by healthy people who are trying to protect against COVID-19.

Such masks are loose-fitting and provide only barrier protection against droplets, including large respiratory particles. They do not effectively filter small particles from the air and do not prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales. They may also increase the spread of coronavirus, as people frequently touch their faces while they are wearing them.

The CDC also does not recommend the use of surgical N95 respirators (tight-fitting masks designed to filter out 95% of particles from the air) by anyone who is not a health care worker.

Surgical masks are used for several different purposes:

  • Placed on sick people to limit the spread of infectious respiratory secretions to others.
  • Worn by health care providers to prevent accidental contamination of patients' wounds by the organisms normally present in mucus and saliva.
  • Worn by workers to protect themselves from splashes or sprays of blood or bodily fluids; they may also keep contaminated fingers/hands away from the mouth and nose.

In the absence of a vaccine, the strongest defense against contracting coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly, sanitize surfaces, and practice social distancing.


CDC Guidance to Higher Risk Individuals

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging older people (60 years of age or more) and those with chronic
conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease to stay at home as much as possible. Early data suggests that older people are twice as likely to develop serious illness from the novel coronavirus. Individuals in these two groups should consider avoiding activities such as traveling by airplane, going to movie theaters, shopping in crowded areas, and attending religious services.

For more information, visit the CDC website.