Dartmouth College COVID-19 FAQs

Covid Concerns @ Dartmouth: FAQs

I tested positive but have no symptoms.  Can I get retested?  How accurate is the test?

The majority of Dartmouth College who test positive for COVID-19 do not have symptoms.  The testing platform used at the college is extremely accurate, only 1 out of every 5,000 tests performed will result in a "false positive" (defined as a positive test in the absence of true infection).  Because we are a congregate living community, and therefore at higher risk for spread of COVID-19, we do not retest positive cases given this very low risk of false positive results.  All students who test positive must isolate for ten days following New Hampshire Department of Health (NH DHHS) and CDC guidelines.

I have been placed into quarantine due to a contact with a positive case.  When should I be tested?  Can I test out of quarantine?

Students with close contact with a known positive case must be in quarantine for 10 days according to NH DHHS and CDC guidelines.  "Close contact" is defined as proximity within 6 feet for a total of 10 minutes or more (per NH DHHS).  At this time, NH state guidelines do not permit "testing out" of quarantine for known contact.  Dartmouth College Health Service (DCHS) offers testing for students around 5 days after last contact with the known positive.  Results of this testing does not change the quarantine recommendation, but serves to help potentially identify additional positive cases on campus and the need for additional contact tracing.  

If the initial testing is negative at around day 5, it does not need to be repeated unless the student develops symptoms concerning for Covid-19.  The testing platform also has an extremely low false negative rate (defined as negative result in presence of true infection) and therefore repeat testing in the absence of symptoms is not recommended.

Students residing in Vermont do have an option to "test out" of  contact quarantine by obtaining a negative Covid-19 test on day 7 or later of the quarantine period.  Students need to remain in quarantine until the final result is received.  Details can be reviewed at https://www.healthvermont.gov.  Vermont residents who are cleared from quarantine may enter public buildings in Vermont after clearance.  However, students are not cleared to return to campus or access New Hampshire public buildings until a full 10-day quarantine is completed, per NH DHHS.

I have been placed into quarantine due to recent travel.  When should I be tested?  Can I test out of quarantine? 

Current Dartmouth College guidelines state that any undergraduate traveling outside the Upper Valley and any community member traveling outside New England must comply with a 10-day travel quarantine.   New Hampshire requires this quarantine for all persons traveling outside New England (NH, VT, ME, MA, CT). 

Travelers now have the option to shorten their travel-related quarantine if all the following apply: the student gets a molecular-based test (an antigen is not acceptable) on day 7 (or later) of their quarantine, the student tests negative, and they remain asymptomatic. 

Will I need to move out of my dorm if I am placed in quarantine or isolation?

Because of the increased risks of Covid-19 in our congregate living setting, students who are assigned to on-campus housing will be relocated to a designated dorm when they are placed on isolation or quarantine.  Food and transportation will be provided and DCHS will work closely with students to be sure their needs are met.  

Students living off-campus who are able to safely isolate or quarantine in their current housing will be permitted to do so.  If a student requires additional on-campus support during and isolation or quarantine period, DCHS will work to accommodate those needs.

For more details regarding on-campus quarantine and isolation see https://students.dartmouth.edu/health-service/about/covid-19-campus-information/covid-resources/quarantine-faqs  and https://students.dartmouth.edu/health-service/about/covid-19-campus-information/covid-resources/isolation-faqs

What can I do during quarantine?  Can I take a walk outside?  What if I need health care or medicine?

Students must stay out of all public and campus buildings during quarantine and should not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the quarantine period. Students are permitted to be outside to pick up supplies or take a walk, and must wear a face covering at all times and maintain 6 feet physical distancing. No visitors are permitted in a student's room during the quarantine period. Students may not enter any Dartmouth College campus buildings other than your dorm.  DCHS will help coordinate any health care needs (603-646-9401) and the Dick's House pharmacy (603-646-9456) can arrange for delivery of medications at the Health Service entrance.

What can I do during isolation?  Can I take a walk outside?  What if I need health care or medicine?

Students in isolation must remain within their living space at all times, with no outdoors or public exposures.  No visitors are permitted in a student's room during the isolation period.  DCHS will help coordinate any health care needs (603-646-9401) and the Dick's House pharmacy (603-646-9456) can arrange for delivery of medications in coordination with nursing staff.

I tested positive 6 weeks ago.  Should I be tested again if I am a contact?  Or have symptoms?

Covid-19 tests can remain positive for up to 90 days.  Once a student is positive, DCHS does not recommend routine testing during that time.  If you are identified as a contact or develop symptoms following a positive test, please contact DCHS to speak with a health care provider regarding your care.

Once I am cleared from isolation or quarantine can I go back to my regular activities?

After being cleared from isolation, a student can restart all activities.  As above, we recommend pausing on Covid-19 surveillance testing for 90 days after a positive test.  Students may also restart all regular activities after clearance from quarantine.