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COVID-19: Dartmouth unsure of its role in getting students vaccinated

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 3/27/2021 11:09:30 AM
Modified: 3/27/2021 11:09:28 AM

HANOVER — In spite of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s announcement that all Granite Staters 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines by the end of next week, it remains unclear whether Dartmouth College will play a role in getting vaccines to its students and younger employees, according to college officials.

The college is currently helping to vaccinate New Hampshire employees of K-12 schools or child care providers, in Phase 2a, as well as residents who are between 50 and 64 years old, in Phase 2b, said Dr. Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston, the co-chairs of Dartmouth’s COVID-19 task force in a Friday message to the community.

“We are exploring whether this partnership can be extended to permit Dartmouth to help schedule appointments for the next phase, announced by the governor yesterday,” Adams and Keniston wrote.

In the meantime, they urged members of the Dartmouth community who are not yet eligible for vaccination in New Hampshire to “pursue any other options available to them to obtain a vaccine.”

During a news conference on Thursday, Sununu said college students from out of state should return to their home states for vaccination.

Dartmouth, which is poised to begin spring term for undergraduates on Monday, had 14 active cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, including 13 students and one employee. The college had six people in quarantine and 25 in isolation. The college announced a cluster of nine cases among Tuck School of Business students earlier this week.

In New London, Colby-Sawyer College, which welcomed students back for in-person learning this week following a period of remote learning due to an outbreak, had 15 active cases as of Thursday. That’s down from 61 at the end of last week. The college had a total of 79 people in quarantine or isolation on Thursday.

Upper Valley schools see COVID-19 cases

NEWPORT — Due to cases of COVID-19, students at Newport high and middle schools will be learning remotely and school athletics are on pause through Wednesday, according to the superintendent.

As of Friday, one student at Newport Middle School and one at the high school had tested positive for the virus, Superintendent Brendan Minnihan wrote in a message to families.

The Richards School and the preschool were slated to continue with in-person instruction, he said.

“As many of the adults begin to receive our vaccinations, it is important that we all remain vigilant and continue with those practices that have allowed us to be in person for most of this school year, namely social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing,” Minnihan wrote.

Elsewhere in the Upper Valley, Claremont school officials alerted families to a COVID-19 case at Stevens High School on Friday.

School officials completed contact tracing and alerted affected families and employees, said Assistant Superintendent Donna Magoon in Friday’s message. Close contacts are required to quarantine for 10 days following their last possible exposure, she said.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at or 603-727-3213.

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