What to Expect the First Week of Winter Term


December 4, 2020

Dear Students,

As our December Minis and Fall B come to a close this week, we extend our congratulations to you all. Each of you has risen to the challenges posed to us throughout this unprecedented fall. Together we’ve made terrific progress and have done well in keeping our community safe and healthy. 

As previewed in last week’s Community Conversation, we have been thinking through the quarantine requirements that will be in place when classes resume as well as the format of classes for the first week of the winter 2021 term. The first week of winter term elective instruction, January 4 – 8, will be “online instruction only,” meaning students will not be taking classes in-person in our classrooms during that week. The one exception to this will be our Ethics in Action course, which will be meeting in-person on January 4 and 5, but with a zoom option for the small number of enrolled students who had to travel. Our two winter term core courses may also be “online instruction only” during their first week of class, January 11 – 15. 

This decision is to provide ample time for quarantine following the December recess. Thereafter, we plan to resume our hybrid format. Details about which classes will be offered in which format will be shared prior to the start of the winter term add/drop period (Friday 1/1).

Testing & Quarantine

During the first week of the winter term, students will be tested three times for COVID-19. The schedule for testing is available here. (Note that for the remainder of 2020, testing is taking place in Thompson Arena. This will shift back to Leverone Fieldhouse in the New Year.) We anticipate that on Sunday, January 3, testing will be available almost exclusively for Tuck students. In other words: we expect very short lines on Sunday, January 3 and encourage you to take advantage. 

For students who live in New Hampshire and traveled beyond the New England states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island, or for students who live in Vermont and traveled outside of Vermont during the break, there is a 14-day quarantine required by the states upon return. In both New Hampshire and Vermont, this quarantine can be shortened by receiving a PCR-based COVID test on Day 7 with negative results. 

All asymptomatic testing for Tuck students takes place at Leverone Fieldhouse. The TSA that you complete before entering Leverone 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 at Leverone if you have traveled. 

The quarantine process for those returning from travel beyond New England will go as follows: 

Some students have taken advantage of our offer to provide mail-in testing kits so that can know their COVID status before traveling back to the Upper Valley. Pre-arrival testing does not replace the quarantine requirement or Day 0 testing.  The purpose of mail-in pre-arrival testing is to catch positive COVID cases before students travel back to campus. If a student tests positive on a mail-in kit, the student will be contacted by Dick’s house to discuss a safe timeline for their return to campus. 

After January 8, surveillance testing frequency for the winter term will remain twice per week. As always, you can schedule your test at https://health-clinics.dartmouth.edu/.

Tuck and Dartmouth will continue to update our COVID dashboards throughout the break and we will share community updates about new COVID cases or urgent policy changes as warranted.

We thank everyone for their contributions and care throughout the fall term, and we applaud your accomplishments and resilience. 

Wishing you a joyful and safe holiday break, 

 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.

More information on COVID-19