COVID-19: Dartmouth College reports spike in COVID-19 cases, dozens in quarantine

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/24/2021 5:41:59 PM
Modified: 2/24/2021 9:43:01 PM

HANOVER — Dartmouth College shifted to “grab-and-go” dining options rather than in-cafeteria meals on Wednesday amid a spike in COVID-19 cases that has put dozens of students in quarantine, according to college officials.

“We have 25 active cases currently and we are monitoring approximately 80 students both in quarantine and isolation, including the active cases,” Dartmouth spokeswoman Diana Lawrence said via email Wednesday evening.

Hours earlier, Dartmouth COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston had told the college community by email that there were at least 22 active cases and added “this number may grow overnight.”

The cases include at least two clusters of students. The college identified one cluster of three students on Tuesday and another of four students on Wednesday, according to the school’s dashboard.

“We are looking into possible sources of the increased transmission,” Adams and Keniston wrote.

Students who have tested positive are in isolation on campus, while those who have been identified as contacts are quarantining, they said. The to-go meal policy for all students was to run through at least Sunday. In spite of the case spike, Dartmouth students are still permitted to participate in outdoor activities such as ice skating, walking and skiing, but are asked to wear masks and socially distance while doing so.

Dartmouth previously had reported a total of 77 COVID-19 cases in testing since Jan. 1, with 10 positive tests in the past two weeks. The college reported 56 total cases between July 1 and Dec. 31. Dartmouth’s case spike comes as other colleges and universities in the Twin States also have seen high case counts.

The University of New Hampshire had 268 active cases as of Tuesday, Plymouth State University had 255 active cases as of Wednesday and the University of Vermont reported 64 new cases for the week that ended on Sunday.

Lebanon vaccination site moves

LEBANON — The fixed site in Lebanon for COVID-19 vaccinations is moving to the former JCPenney store off Route 12A in West Lebanon beginning on Thursday, according to a spokesman for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Vaccinations had previously been taking place outside at the Lebanon Armory on Heater Road, according to Jake Leon, the DHHS spokesman.

As of Tuesday, DHHS was reaching out to those who had vaccinations scheduled in Lebanon to alert them to the change.

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