Summer term international programs for undergraduates will be suspended for the full summer term, and domestic summer term programs will be suspended through the month of July, Provost Joseph Helble told the Dartmouth community in an email today about Dartmouth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We appreciate that these measures are both disappointing and frustrating, but they have been made to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and faculty,” Helble said.
There has been no decision yet on whether sophomore summer will be held on campus.
The decision on international and domestic programs—which was made after considering the many factors currently affecting domestic and international travel and study, and in consultation with members of the COVID-19 task force—affects 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 may request an exemption if they are pursuing leave-term opportunities that can be fulfilled remotely or with an alternative set-up from their current location, so long as they require no air travel.
Today’s decision does not apply to programs run by the graduate and professional schools. Graduate students will be notified by their respective schools regarding decisions about such programs.
Dartmouth-supported international and domestic travel remains prohibited for faculty and staff without an exemption from their dean or supervisor. Personal travel, including domestic travel outside New Hampshire and Vermont, is strongly discouraged due to possible self-quarantine requirements on arrival and return.
Helble’s message also provided an update on two new cases of community-transmitted COVID-19 in the Dartmouth community—a Dartmouth employee and an undergraduate living on campus who have tested presumptive positive for the virus. To date, four individuals on the Dartmouth campus have tested positive for COVID-19.
“These individuals are resting comfortably and are in self-isolation and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is conducting contact investigations in both cases,” Helble said.
Three additional Dartmouth students were being tested for COVID-19 on Monday.
“We are working closely with any student who develops symptoms of COVID-19 to ensure prompt self-isolation and notification and self-quarantine of close contacts,” Helble said, adding that, given the current restrictions on domestic travel and the regional spread of the virus, unauthorized visitors should not come to campus.
“Unfortunately, transmission of the virus in the Upper Valley is now prevalent,” Helble said. “You can help to slow the spread of the disease by assuming that anyone you come in contact with may have COVID-19 and by maintaining social distancing, washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoiding all gatherings.”
Dartmouth officials continue to work closely with partners at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and state and local governments to support the health care needs of the broader community.
Helble’s message comes as undergraduate classes get under way for the spring term via the College’s remote learning initiative.
“This major transformation of the delivery of our curriculum, almost unthinkable just a month ago, quietly and successfully got off the ground in several of our graduate programs last week and today expands across the undergraduate curriculum,” Helble said.
“Having seen all corners of the Dartmouth community come together these past weeks to support this effort and facilitate the continued education of our students has been nothing short of inspiring. We are so appreciative of the intensive and creative work that faculty and staff have devoted to this major transition, one among many shifts and changes we’ve had to accommodate this month.”
Helble praised the commitment faculty and staff have shown in support of student learning, calling it “the hallmark of a Dartmouth education.”
“The compassion for others that we have been seeing, and the entire community’s flexibility and patience, are deeply valued and incredibly important in both our personal and professional lives as we continue to adapt to our new circumstances.”
For the latest information on Dartmouth’s response to the pandemic visit the COVID-19 website.
Hannah Silverstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.