August 4, 2022
Dear Members of the UNH Durham Community,
The start of the fall semester is approaching and I am excited to see you all on campus. While we hoped that COVID would no longer be with us, it still is. But I am encouraged because most of you are vaccinated, which greatly reduces the risk for severe illness, and because the current variants of the virus are generally less severe. My biggest reason for feeling encouraged, however, is the community of caring and respect I’ve seen on this campus throughout the pandemic. You’ve stayed home when necessary, wore a mask and gotten tested. This commitment to the health and safety of every member of our community allows us to relax some of our requirements.
Below are our current guidelines for the fall semester, which of course may be adjusted if circumstances change. I recognize this is a lot of information, but it all comes down to personal responsibility and accountability to your fellow community members.
- Masks are not required in indoor campus spaces.
- Masks are still required in Health & Wellness, as part of standard PPE in labs and for individuals who were recently in isolation or quarantine.
- If someone asks you to wear a mask, please do if possible. That includes in classrooms, labs, workspaces, residence hall rooms and other areas where members of the community gather.
Pre-arrival and arrival testing (all)
Please test (PCR or rapid) within 72 hours before your return to campus and do a rapid test when you arrive. This applies even to individuals who have tested positive in the last 90 days.
- For students in residence halls, a rapid test will be available in your room as well as test kits and further instructions. For all other students, rapid tests and testing materials will be available in the Whittemore Center Arena (Whitt) Aug. 22-Sept. 2, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (including the weekend). Faculty, staff and contractors should pick up test kits and labels at the Whitt (Aug. 22–25 recommended). Rapid tests will be available, and a PCR test should be dropped before leaving the Whitt.
- Only kits and labels issued this summer may be used; discard older ones.
Initial testing (students only)
Every student is required to submit one PCR test over the first two weeks of classes. Our goal is to keep our faculty and students in the classroom, and our staff able to do their work. The only exception is for those who are within the 90-day window post positive test (upload proof).
- Students arriving to residence halls: drop a PCR test between Aug. 26 and Sept. 2.
- Students in on-campus apartments and living off campus: testing window will be provided at the Whitt.
Regular Testing (all)
Testing is voluntary for everyone after dropping one PCR test as instructed, and regular testing is encouraged for those who are immunocompromised or unvaccinated. Anyone showing symptoms (sore throat, cough, congestion) is encouraged to drop a test or go to Health & Wellness.
- Boxes will be open for voluntary self-swab testing Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Boxes are located at Dimond Library: inside the 1st set of main doors (open 24 hours M-Th), Gregg Hall, Hamel Recreation Center, Health & Wellness side entrance and West Edge Hut (drive up open 24 hours M-Th)
- Additional test kits are available at Health & Wellness, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Vaccination is encouraged but not required. Centers for Disease Control vaccination guidance can be found here.
Isolation and Quarantine (all)
- Students are strongly encouraged to return home or isolate in place, leaving only for food and medical care, except in extreme circumstances.
- If you test positive using a home or rapid test upload the result.
- Detailed information about how and when to isolate and quarantine can be found here. You can end isolation after day five if you test negative on a rapid test and upload the result. Rapid tests are available at Health & Wellness, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Wildcat Pass will be used to reflect your status including dropping the required PCR test.
Please stay home from work or class if you’re sick and follow isolation and quarantine recommendations. Faculty can continue to expect a notice from the Dean of Students if a student is expected to miss class due to isolation and quarantine, and students in isolation or quarantine can expect faculty to be flexible and create ways for them to stay on top of the work. We are encouraging faculty to include an outline of their plans in case of excused absence as part of the syllabus.
Thank you for your continued commitment. See you in a few weeks!
James W. Dean Jr.