As COVID-19 Task Force Ends, Community Vigilance Needed

News subtitle

A subgroup of the task force will continue to coordinate COVID-19-related efforts.

campus in the summer

(Photo by Robert Gill)


As the COVID-19 Task Force prepares to disband at the end of July after more than 16 months, a small subset of the group will continue to advise and coordinate Dartmouth’s ongoing response to the pandemic, task force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston said in an email sent to faculty, students, and staff on Monday.

“Despite successful public health measures in New Hampshire and Vermont, the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, primarily among people who are unvaccinated,” wrote 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.

While the transmission of COVID-19 is currently low on campus, the risk may increase as more campus activities move indoors in the fall. That may require the reinstatement of safety protocols, such as masking, physical distancing, and more frequent testing.

“Although we hope these precautions will not be necessary, we want to be prepared if circumstances require it,” Adams and Keniston said.

The COVID-19 dashboard on the Dartmouth Together website will be updated regularly to keep the community informed.

Adams and Keniston urged everyone who has not yet received a vaccination to “please get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect yourself and your community.”

They also urged the entire community to follow best practices for COVID safety, including:

  • Staying home when sick, with COVID-19 or any other infectious illness. Students who feel ill should contact Dick’s House; employees should contact their primary care providers or Axiom Medical (281-419-7063 or 1-877-502-9466 ext. 2).
  • Participating in COVID-19 screenings, which are required every 30 days for vaccinated employees and twice a week for unvaccinated employees. Currently testing is available 7:30 a.m-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at Courtyard Café in the Hopkins Center for the Arts and 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays at the Williamson Translational Research Building at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
  • Wearing a mask if you have not yet been vaccinated or feel unwell. “Please also continue to be respectful of one another’s privacy and refrain from commenting on or questioning someone’s masking status or asking about their vaccine status,” the message said.
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