August 18, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Today we learned that since the beginning of our first-year Tuck Launch orientation, eight COVID cases have been identified among Tuck students. These cases are occurring despite vaccination. While masking continues to be a requirement in our indoor campus spaces at Tuck, the reality is that we are all interacting with one another more closely outside of the classroom and in social settings than we were last academic year.
Out of an abundance of caution, starting tomorrow, Thursday, August 19, we will be moving the remainder of our scheduled Tuck Launch orientation events to be virtual. Study groups can continue to gather and work in their assigned study rooms for the CEO Challenge on Thursday. The Tuck ‘Tails event scheduled for Thursday will be postponed. The Tuck Launch lunch scheduled for Friday will now be offered in a “grab and go” format. Over the next few days, we will be closely monitoring our case count and the trajectory of our community’s health. We will make decisions about the format of the first week of classes accordingly.
Fully vaccinated students at Dartmouth are currently required to participate in COVID surveillance testing once every 30 days and can continue to test more frequently if desired. Given our recent case count, we anticipate asking Tuck students to participate in COVID surveillance testing more frequently in the near term, regardless of vaccination status. Details about increased testing frequency will be shared in the coming days.
No vaccine offers 100 percent protection and because of our community’s high vaccination rate it makes sense that these cases are being identified among fully vaccinated individuals. What we can each do at this point is to play our part for public health beyond being vaccinated and use good judgement about the behaviors and social settings in which transmission may occur.
We in the Upper Valley are fortunate to have beautiful outdoor spaces in which to enjoy each other’s company, and we’ve learned over the course of the past year to be mindful of indoor gathering sizes. Let’s take advantage of our natural surroundings and heed the lessons of the past year to socialize wisely in the coming days.
It is critical that we each do our part to eliminate the spread of this virus. Acting with great care and respect toward one another, we can keep our community safe and proceed to our in-person classroom experience just as we have all hoped.
The Deans’ Office