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Dartmouth tallies 4 total virus cases in Hanover area

Staff Report
Published: 9/15/2020 6:01:26 PM
Modified: 9/15/2020 6:01:20 PM

HANOVER — With more than 3,000 Dartmouth College undergraduate and graduate students back in Hanover for fall term, only four have tested positive for COVID-19, the college reported late Monday.

Three remain active cases among 3,045 students, many of whom have now been tested twice as part of the start of classes, which began on Monday. No one among 935 faculty and staff tested positive, though two students and three employees are in isolation in Hanover, indicating they either have symptoms and are awaiting test results or have tested positive for the respiratory disease.

Dartmouth spokeswoman Diana Lawrence said the isolation number for students might not correspond with the number who have tested positive because someone might have chosen to return home “by private conveyance with no stops” to recuperate.

Another 65 students — many of them Tuck School of Business first-year students who improperly attended a Sept. 4 party in a dormitory — are in quarantine as a precaution, and another five Dartmouth undergraduates tested positive in “pre-arrival” saliva tests sent to their homes and are not allowed to come to Hanover until they have recovered.

She also indicated that the screening, quarantine and testing protocol for students — Dartmouth allowed about half its student body back to Hanover this fall — appears to be working well so far.

“The ratio is well below the 1% threshold we have identified as one key indicator for reassessing our campus return plan. The testing is doing what we intended it to do: identifying cases so that we can isolate people and prevent virus transmission within the community,” Lawrence said via email.

Dartmouth has set aside about 550 beds for quarantine or isolation — space in dorms is available because many students are taking classes online from their homes under Dartmouth’s plan to limit the numbers on campus — and less than 1% has been utilized to date, the college said.

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