COVID-19: Dartmouth likely to limit the number of students on campus in the fall

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/4/2020 9:03:33 PM
Modified: 5/4/2020 9:03:29 PM

HANOVER — Dartmouth College is likely to limit the number of undergraduates who can return to campus this fall as it tries to resume in-person classes while also balancing safety and social-distancing concerns in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a “planning for the fall term” email update on Monday to the college community, Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon and Provost Joseph Helble said some graduate students and employees will return to research laboratories over the summer. The college also has a “strong desire to bring some number of undergraduates back to live and study on campus this fall,” the email said.

“In the most likely scenario, we expect to have a mix of in-person and virtual classes in the fall for both undergraduates and graduate and professional students,” Hanlon and Helble wrote. They also said Dartmouth will also “need to modify the ways in which students live to achieve less density in our residence and dining halls and maintain capacity for students who fall ill or need to self-quarantine.”

Dartmouth is creating three working groups, one to recommend how to handle undergraduate classes, including a “bifurcated system” where some students are still taking classes online from home; a health working group including Dartmouth-Hitchcock officials to cover such issues as contact tracing and quarantine; and another to consider operational issues, such as what facilities would be used for isolation and quarantine space and whether off-campus programs can resume in the fall.

The email said a final decision on fall term operations will be made by June 29.

“In all aspects of campus life, we expect that physical distancing and other changes to our behavior to help safeguard public health will need to remain in place for quite some time, and we are committed to strictly enforcing those practices across our community,” Hanlon and Helble wrote.

Five Colleges Book Sale goes online

Some of the books that would otherwise have gone on sale last month at the 59th annual Five Colleges Book Sale are now available online.

The event planned for mid-April at Lebanon High School was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers are “offering a small collection of donated books” with an organization that sells books for libraries and other groups online on a consignment basis, according to a news release on Monday.

The books are available at Revenues from the Five Colleges sale help fund scholarships for students in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Woodstock pools won’t open

The Woodstock Recreation Center said it won’t open its pools this summer, and there will be no swim lessons or swim team.

“We are making sure that we put the health and safety of the community first. Moving forward we will plan day camp and gym openings based on the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Vermont,” the center said in a listserve announcement.

In other Woodstock news, the Woodstock Area Relief Fund has raised more than $270,000 and given out almost 100 grants to recipients in need in towns in the Windsor Central Supervisory Union. More information can be found at or by emailing

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