March 4, 2021
As the final week of our winter term comes to a close, we extend our thanks for your contributions to health and safety, your empathy and flexibility, and your co-creation of a unique and historic Tuck experience. Together we’ve made remarkable progress.
As previewed in this week’s Community Conversation, we have been thinking through the quarantine protocols and format of instruction that will take place during the first week of the spring 2021 term. Arrival quarantine protocol will be in place at that time. (More about this below.) Similar to how we approached the first week of the winter term, the first week of spring term, March 22 – 26, will be online instruction only. Students will not be taking classes in-person in our classrooms during that week. This is to provide ample time to meet quarantine requirements following break. After that first week, we plan to resume our in-person hybrid formats.
During the first week of the spring term, students will be COVID tested three times – on Day 0 (the day you return), Day 3 and Day 7. After March 26, surveillance testing frequency for the spring term will remain twice per week. You can find the March testing schedule here, and can quickly reserve a time slot for testing here. Vaccinated students, defined as students who are 14 days after their second COVID vaccination, are still required to test twice weekly throughout spring term.
Dartmouth will start to utilize rapid antigen testing in addition to PCR testing during the spring term. The advantage of incorporating antigen testing in addition to PCR testing is that if an individual is highly contagious, antigen testing will provide an early warning sign to isolate.
Rapid antigen testing will start on Sunday, March 21. The results will be available within 30 minutes and will be emailed to students. Antigen results will indicate that either A) no further action is needed, or B) students should contact Dick's House which could either mean the results were inconclusive or that a student may need to isolate. PCR tests – the type of tests we have used all year – have a higher sensitivity, allowing detection at any level of virus but take longer to provide results. By using both rapid antigen and PCR testing during the spring term, we will be able to isolate highly infectious cases in our community more quickly.
All asymptomatic surveillance testing for Tuck students currently takes place at Thompson Arena. Testing will move back to Leverone Fieldhouse starting Sunday, March 21. The TSA that you complete before entering the testing facility will ask about travel outside of New England states. This question is for contact tracing purposes only. You will still be able to enter and get tested if you have traveled.
Arrival quarantine protocols will be in place following spring break. Arrival quarantine protocol is different from travel quarantine protocol. Greater details about arrival quarantine practices are on the Health & Safety page of the Tuck COVID website, including guidance about movement during quarantine.
What to Know about Arrival Quarantine:
If you have any questions about testing or quarantine policies, please reach out to Vincent Mack in the MBAPO.
Tuck and Dartmouth will continue to update our COVID dashboards throughout spring break and we will share community updates about new COVID cases or urgent policy changes as warranted.
We wish you a restful and relaxing spring break. Please take good care!
Joe, Brian and Sally
Dartmouth has formed a high-level task force to plan for and manage possible disruptions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, monitor federal and state recommendations, implement guidance, and communicate with our community.