Dartmouth COVID cases now top 100

The Valley News
Published: 3/1/2021 5:08:17 PM

Dartmouth College’s active COVID-19 case count jumped to well over 100 over the weekend, prompting the school to revert to more stringent pandemic protocols, including students eating alone in their rooms and remaining on campus to avoid Hanover residents.

The college has seen “rapid and significantly increased risk of transmission within our community,” according to an email sent Saturday by Dean Kathryn Lively.

The college had “over 100 active cases” on Saturday, according to the email. As of midday Sunday, the college’s dashboard reported 119 active cases, with all but two in students.

Sunday’s figure means confirmed cases have doubled since late Friday afternoon, when the college reported 58 active cases. And it accounts for more than half of all of the student cases reported by the college since July 1, 2020.

All told, the number of students in isolation or quarantine on and off campus stood at 234 on Sunday, according to the dashboard.

That’s about 6% of the roughly 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students who are living in or near the Upper Valley and subject to the college’s testing regime.

Slightly less than half those students were in quarantine, which Dartmouth uses for people who do not have symptoms and who have not tested positive for COVID-19 but are at risk because of travel or a close contact with someone with the coronavirus.

The 128 students in isolation include those who have tested positive for COVID-19, plus several others who have symptoms and are awaiting test results.

Ten faculty and staff were also in either quarantine or isolation.

Because of the rising numbers, the college reverted on Saturday to “arrival quarantine phase two,” according to Lively’s email, which reflects the protocols students faced when winter-term students arrived on campus in January, including:

Students must remain in their rooms by themselves “as much as possible” and refrain from visiting each other in rooms or gathering in hallways.

Common spaces and kitchens are closed. Students must pick up their meals at the cafeteria and return to eat them alone in their rooms.

Students can go outside for walks or exercise, but should remain on campus with face coverings, social distancing and other precautions.

 Lively asked students to “please avoid going into downtown Hanover and avoid local residents.”

“We cannot stress enough the importance of these measures which are being taken for your safety, for the safety of College employees, and for everyone in our campus and local community,” Lively wrote. “It is important to be mindful of the very real risk that someone, including you, could become seriously ill, should you fail to comply with College guidelines and behavioral standards.”

Dartmouth spokeswoman Diana Lawrence on Sunday said the “phase two” quarantine status would last through the weekend and “be reevaluated over the next few days.”

“We are continuously monitoring the situation and making adjustments as needed,” she said.

The college shuttered indoor gathering spaces and shifted in-person classes in the middle of last week as COVID-19 cases started to rise. 




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