Dartmouth Issues New Face-Covering Policy for Employees

The COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs also provided updated travel guidance.

Dartmouth employees working on campus and at other Dartmouth work sites are now required to wear cloth face coverings. In addition, all students approved to be on campus or at other Dartmouth sites must follow the new face-covering policy, emailed to community members today by Dartmouth COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs physician Lisa Adams, an associate professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, and Josh Keniston, vice president for institutional projects.

In addition to the face-covering policy, the pair provided updated travel guidance and shared guidelines explaining the phased approached that will be used to bring community members back to campus. The new face-covering policytravel information, and the reopening levels that will determine when people can return to campus are available on the COVID-19 website.

"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," wrote Adams and Keniston.

The guidelines that are being used to decide when community members can return to campus are made up of five levels, ranging from "essential access only" to "full access." Dartmouth is currently at the second-most- restrictive access level—highly limited access—under which essential operations can continue on-site, limited activities that cannot be performed remotely are taking place on site with approval, and all classes are delivered remotely.

The travel guidance continues to be updated to reflect new information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. Keniston and Adams stressed that, given the risk of virus transmission and restrictions on travel, those who have not received specific authorization to be at Dartmouth should not come to campus.

"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," wrote Adams and Keniston. "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."

For the latest information on Dartmouth's response to the pandemic visit the COVID-19 website.