COVID-19 Task Force chairs also emphasized the importance of existing guidelines.
With graduate and professional school students arriving on campus and the start of the school year for undergraduates—half of whom will be on campus this fall—one month away, Dartmouth has announced new COVID-19 protocols and reinforced existing guidelines.
"As we prepare to welcome students, faculty, and staff to campus for the fall term, members of the COVID-19 Task Force are working hard to ensure that Dartmouth is implementing extensive protocols designed to support a safe environment where everyone can thrive," wrote Associate Professor of Medicine Lisa Adams, MED '90, and Vice President for Institutional Projects Josh Keniston today in an email to all faculty, students, and staff. The two co-chair the task force.
To date, approximately 600 graduate and professional school students on campus have been tested for the virus and none have tested positive.
New and updated protocols include a telehealth phone service to screen faculty and staff if they have symptoms of the virus. Details on how the system will work will be available next week. (Students have access to similar health screening at Dick's House, Dartmouth's health service.)
Other changes include the canceling of all international winter term programs for all students; continuation of the ban on visitors—including children and other family members—who do not have authorization to be on campus; travel quarantine guidelines for all students and employees who will be on campus in the coming academic year; and a move to the next level of access—termed limited access—regarding the opening of various parts of campus and institutional operations.
Information on these changes and more can be found on Dartmouth's COVID-19 website.
As new cases of COVID-19 have increased slightly in New Hampshire, Adams and Keniston asked community members to remain vigilant and continue to observe safety protocols. Students from all of Dartmouth's schools are being asked to sign a community-expectations agreement this fall that details standards and policies put in place to guard against transmission of the virus.
"COVID-19 may occur in our community this year, and it will only be through the mutual promises we make to one another to adhere to institutional policies and public health practices and standards that we can hope to contain the virus and move toward a return to a robust and energized on-campus environment," they wrote.
They also reminded people to seek support, if they need it, through campus wellness programs and to check in with co-workers and friends.
"Take time to reach out to colleagues, neighbors, and friends. Life holds many challenges right now and we understand that everyone is trying their best. This is hard, but together we can do it," they said.
For the latest information on Dartmouth's response to the pandemic visit the COVID-19 website.
Susan Boutwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.