With the holiday season approaching and the pandemic showing no signs of receding, Dartmouth’s COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs Lisa Adams, a physician and an associate professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, and Josh Keniston, vice president of campus services and institutional projects, sent a reminder to the Dartmouth community today that Dartmouth “strongly discourages personal travel at this time.”
“In these uncertain times, we all want to gather with the people we love, take refuge in our traditions, and return to a state of normalcy, but many of us are wrestling with the question of how to do so safely, given the surge in COVID-19 transmission across the country and in many other parts of the world,” Adams and Keniston wrote.
They reminded faculty and staff of the COVID-19 protocol community members must follow: Faculty and staff who choose to travel, including day trips and regardless of their method of transportation, must, upon return, meet a series of requirements before accessing Dartmouth campus buildings.
Dartmouth travel guidelines are available on the Dartmouth Together COVID-19 website. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers suggestions and guidelines for celebrating safely, including travel advice.
Students returning to campus in January will receive specific instructions from their respective schools regarding arrival dates, quarantine procedures, and arrival testing.
In addition, Adams and Keniston noted that faculty, staff, and anyone else who needs to be on campus will need to follow the quarantine requirements for their state of residence outside of work, and check in with their supervisor or research adviser if their planned travel will include a mandatory quarantine period. Faculty and staff can contact Human Resources with questions.
“The onset of winter weather means that many activities must be moved inside, including teaching, dining, studying, rehearsals, athletic practice, and social gatherings. Given this transition, and the likelihood that the coronavirus may spread more easily through airborne transmission in enclosed spaces, the task force is reviewing policies related to these types of activities. As Provost Helble mentioned in his most recent Community Conversation webcast, we are also focused on ways to enjoy using more of the campus in collective activities and are considering how to open more indoor spaces and provide for greater mobility,” Adams and Keniston wrote.
“As opportunities for virus transmission increase, each of us can be a part of the solution,” they wrote, reminding members of the community to get a flu vaccine, practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet, wear a mask whenever leaving one’s residence, and taking other safety precautions.
Staff and faculty who are planning holiday celebrations within their schools and divisions are asked to conduct those functions remotely and avoid in-person gatherings on or off campus, Adams and Keniston wrote.