Ahead of the fall semester, more colleges and universities are implementing tightened COVID-19 restrictions to combat the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, specifically, the Delta variant. Among these restrictions include weekly COVID-19 testing for students who are fully vaccinated and mask requirements, regardless of vaccination status, both indoors and outdoors.
At Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, new restrictions have been laid out for returning students and faculty ahead of the first day of classes, Sept. 13. While obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine is a requirement at the college, with exceptions for religious or medical exemptions, being vaccinated does not exempt students from abiding by mask mandates or weekly covid testing mandates.
According to a report by the Associated Press, Dartmouth students will be required to be tested for coronavirus weekly – once a week for vaccinated students, twice a week for unvaccinated students. All faculty and staff who work at Dartmouth are required to test as well, varying on the type of employment and how often they work on-site. In addition to mandatory testing for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, masks must also be worn by all at all times in indoor locations. On the school’s website, there is a fleshed-out guide to when and where students are permitted to remove their face coverings.
Reportedly, Dartmouth plans to utilize its tennis center for isolation housing for students who test positive for COVID-19. In the dorms, students are only allowed to remove their masks in their room if none of the roommates are showing symptoms.
St. Lawrence University, a small liberal arts school in Canton, New York, announced this week that masks must be worn both inside and outside on campus grounds due to the rise of positive COVID-19 cases on campus. The university is also requiring regular COVID-19 testing for all students. This policy applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
Additionally, the on-campus quarantine space is at capacity. Students who must quarantine who live within 500 miles of campus are now required to leave campus to quarantine for 10 days. In the classroom, educators must keep seating charts or daily photographs of class meetings to ensure students are abiding by masks and social distancing measures.
As we previously reported, several universities have implemented strict protocols for students to combat the spread of covid. The University of Virginia and Xavier University of Louisiana both disenrolled students who failed to get the COVID-19 vaccine prior to the fall semester. Duke University, specifically, stated they will fire faculty who do not get vaccinated. With positive cases of the virus climbing in certain areas, there will likely be more schools requiring students to get vaccinated, test regularly, and taking other precautions to stop the spread.