Semester Opening Update from Office of the Provost - January 24, 2022

Dear Colleagues in Durham,

Welcome back for the spring semester.

As we get ready for the start of classes, we wanted to share with you the latest outcomes of our pre-arrival and arrival testing strategies. We are happy to report that our efforts so far (recommending home tests before leaving, spacing out arrival testing and rapid testing before PCR testing at arrival) have been successful in reducing the load on the COVID lab to manageable levels. We are continuing to proceed with in-person classes starting Tuesday, Jan. 25.

We currently have eight students in isolation on campus, a UNH lab test positivity rate of 3.7% for the last seven days and Wildcat Pass data is fully up to date. As you can see from the dashboard, we have tested about 7,000 individuals during move in. Arrival testing will continue at high levels today and tomorrow. This is all expected, and overall good news for our in-person campus environment. We will continually monitor the results of arrival testing over the next few days, as well as wastewater testing and overall isolation counts that impact potential class disruptions.

Our faculty and academic staff are the vital link in our efforts to continue our academic mission through COVID. We need your help to:

1. Check Wildcat Pass in the classroom (see hints from fellow faculty) and in service offices.

2.  Use your judgement for your specific course requirements and the student impact you’re seeing in your course to temporarily use alternative modalities or assignments.

3.  Communicate with your department chair and dean’s office if you do switch your course modality.

4.  Work with students in isolation to keep up with course requirements.

As a reminder, here are some available resources:

We knowthat our faculty and staff work tirelessly in support of student success and well-being. This pandemic has required us to be more flexible with students while we strain under new and additional pressures on campus, in our scholarship and creative activities, and at home. Please watch for additional messages this week regarding process improvements and testing protocol updates. Please remember that if you see something that is not correct in the classroom, laboratory or on campus to notify someone so we can make it right.

Thank you for all you do for our students. As UNH Together, we can be safe and we can support each other and we can meet our academic missions.

Wayne E. Jones, Provost

Kate Ziemer, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs