Town of Hanover, Dresden schools drop mask mandates

  • Virginia Clerkin wears a mask while walking down South Main Street in Hanover, N.H., where she is the manager of J. Crew, Monday, July 27, 2020. The Town of Hanover will hold a public hearing on a mask ordinance next week. Currently signs throughout the downtown area request the use of face masks. A short time later Dwight Campbell, of West Lebanon, passed by on his way to a meeting with a friend and said he was pleased to see the majority of people on the street wearing masks. “I’m sorry that there’s a particular confusion between notions of personal freedom and simple things that people can do to protect themselves and others,” said Campbell, a retired surgeon, of those that don’t wear face coverings. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to James M. Patterson

  • A man who declined to give his name passes by a sign in Hanover, N.H., requesting that visitors wear face masks, Monday, July 27, 2020. The town will hold a public hearing on a mask ordinance next week. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to James M. Patterson

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 3/15/2022 11:07:17 PM
Modified: 3/15/2022 11:07:09 PM

HANOVER — Dresden schools and the town of Hanover, along with Dartmouth College, this week are joining the majority of Upper Valley schools and municipalities in dropping indoor mask requirements.

Masks are no longer required in SAU 70 school buses or schools, which include those in Norwich and Hanover, according to a Friday message to families and employees from Superintendent Jay Badams. Instead, masks are now welcome, he said.

The schools made the change Monday based on COVID-19 transmission rates, hospitalizations, case numbers and vaccination rates, and in conjunction with the town of Hanover and Dartmouth College, Badams said.

Both the town and the college are scheduled to drop mask requirements on Wednesday, following the conclusion of the college’s winter term. The town has not rescinded its mandate and instead has paused it, so it could be reinstated if another variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 causes a rapid increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, according to a Monday message posted to the town’s website.

SAU 70 students or employees who test positive still are asked to isolate for five days. They may return following a negative antigen test, or after 10 days, Badams’ message said. School administrators will no longer inform the community of positive cases, but they may change course if cases spike in a specific classroom or team.

In nearby Hartford, the School Board is scheduled to hold a special meeting to discuss mask requirements in schools Wednesday at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Hartford High School auditorium and online via Zoom. More information is online at: The town of Hartford has already allowed its mask requirement to lapse.

The Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction is continuing to require masks due to the vulnerability of many people who use the center, according to its website. The center will consider dropping its requirement once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measures the community level of COVID-19 in the area, which takes into account COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as “low” for a couple of weeks in a row. The community level of COVID-19 in most of Vermont, including the Upper Valley counties of Orange and Windsor, is “medium.” The level is “low” throughout New Hampshire.

Like those in neighboring Hanover, Lebanon schools stopped requiring masks on Monday. The City Council has postponed a hearing on the city’s mask requirement from Wednesday to March 23. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. Agendas for City Council meetings are posted to the city’s website: The Norwich Selectboard also is scheduled to discuss its mask mandate on March 23.

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