More Than 3,100 COVID-19 Tests Administered

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Two undergraduates have tested positive in two weeks of on-campus testing.

Provost Helble taking a student's temperature
Provost Joseph Helble checks a student’s temperature during outdoor COVID-19 testing this week. A number of employees have volunteered to assist health service workers with testing as hundreds of students arrived each day this week. The testing tent was their first stop. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00) 

In the past two weeks, Dartmouth has tested more than 3,100 people for COVID-19, with more than half of the tests being administered in the last several days as undergraduates have returned to campus this week for the start of the academic year. Two undergraduates have tested positive.

The results are far below the number of positive tests Dartmouth officials had said might be identified as the institution gets ready for the beginning of fall term, which begins Monday.

“In other words, the testing program is doing what we intended it to do: identify cases swiftly so that we can isolate people and prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our community,” said the Dartmouth COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs in an email today to faculty, students, and staff.

The email, from physician Lisa Adams, an associate professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, and Josh Keniston, vice president of campus services and institutional projects, informed community members about early testing results and noted that testing will continue throughout fall term.

To date, the two students who have tested positive for the virus have self-isolated on campus. Only one of the cases remains active, and that student is in isolation.

In addition to pre-arrival testing (of more than 1,500 students) and testing on the day of arrival for all undergraduates who will be on campus for fall term (fewer than half of the undergraduate student population), the students will be tested again on the third day after their arrival and on day seven. After that, testing of all students on campus will continue weekly throughout the term. All arriving students—undergraduates and graduate students—are required to quarantine for their first 14 days on campus.

Forty-two first-year Tuck School of Business students are currently in quarantine after violating Dartmouth and town of Hanover guidelines on physical distancing and face covering during an unauthorized social gathering.

“As a community that cares for one another, we remind everyone to please remember to be responsible and vigilant so that we can remain together in Hanover. We know that it is challenging during the excitement of a new school year, but it is the new normal; we can do this if we are disciplined and thoughtful,” said Adams and Keniston.

Undergraduates have been arriving in Hanover since Tuesday for this year’s online orientation week, which runs through Sunday for new students on campus as well as those students taking classes remotely from their homes. Most of the classes for students living on campus will also be conducted remotely this fall.

In addition to student testing, all those—students, faculty, and staff—who enter Dartmouth buildings are required to complete an online temperature and self-assessment before entering any Dartmouth property, whether on campus or off campus.

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

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