In a community message on Thursday, COVID-19 Task force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston made official what Provost Joseph Helble announced during Wednesday afternoon’s Community Conversations broadcast: Because 82% of students and 78% of employees who are studying or working on campus have now been vaccinated, and the town of Hanover has suspended its emergency public health ordinance, Dartmouth is now able to roll back a significant number of pandemic restrictions.
In the email, Lisa Adams, a physician and a professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, and Josh Keniston, vice president of campus services and institutional projects, wrote, “We are excited about these welcome changes as the new term begins, and grateful for the patience and fortitude of our community. It is thanks to you that we now can move forward together.”
Under the new guidelines, vaccinated individuals with no COVID-like symptoms no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. Those who are not yet fully vaccinated are still required to wear a face covering indoors, but not outdoors. Masks are also still required in certain campus locations, such as Dick’s House and the COVID-19 testing site, because of the nature of their operations. These locations will post their individual masking policies.
Despite the new rules, Adams and Keniston acknowledged that some people may feel more comfortable continuing to wear masks even in situations where masks are not required.
“In addition to those situations in which face coverings are required, everyone is encouraged to continue wearing them if they feel more comfortable doing so,” Adams and Keniston said. “Please be respectful of one another’s privacy and refrain from commenting on or questioning someone’s masking status.”
Among the other changes announced this week:
- All physical distancing requirements have been lifted, and most spaces on campus can return to full capacity, with a handful of exceptions that will be marked with signs.
- All event and gathering limits have been removed.
- Dining and eating restrictions have been lifted. Additional tables and chairs will be moved back into the Class of 1953 Commons on July 6 and 7.
- The “Take A Professor to Lunch” program will return this summer, with details to be announced in a separate message late next week.
- Zimmerman Fitness Center is now open to students, but may have reduced hours until Monday, June 28, and some spaces may not be accessible until the end of next week. Alumni Gym will be open to faculty and staff in mid-August.
- The daily temperature and self-assessment tool (TSA) that Dartmouth has used since the early days of the pandemic for those working on campus is no longer required.
Some pandemic-related guidelines remain in place, including:
- Most buildings will still be locked and require key card access until Aug. 1.
- Current restrictions on outside visitors will remain in place until Aug. 1. Visitors can find more information and a link to register on Dartmouth Together website. Overnight guests are not permitted in the undergraduate residence halls until Aug. 1.
- Unvaccinated individuals will be tested for COVID-19 twice a week; those who have completed vaccination will be tested every 30 days (or more frequently, if they prefer).
- Unvaccinated students who arrived this week for summer term are still required to complete their arrival quarantine.