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Dartmouth students back on campus

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 5:16 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2020 at 7:43 AM EDT
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HANOVER, N.H. (WCAX) - Tuesday is the first day of college for students at Dartmouth. But, it’s safe to say, this orientation day is unlike any other any of us have experienced in our lifetime.

“It is definitely going to be a very special experience. Very unique,” said Camila Moreda.

Moreda is a Cuban national who lives in Miami. She’s also a member of Dartmouth’s class of 2024. Moreda was one of the scores of incoming freshmen tested Tuesday for COVID-19 after arriving on campus. The students will be tested three times in their first week. After receiving their first COVID tests, they all immediately began a 14-day quarantine.

“I’m very grateful for the administration for doing everything they can to help us out and make the situation a little bit easier on us,” Moreda said.

“I don’t know, I’m a bit stressed out of course,” said freshman Leonhardt Fuchs.

Fuchs flew in from Germany where the percentage of positive cases is just a fraction of that in the U.S.

“I know that over here in Hanover, and on campus, in particular, I think there aren’t even any cases at the moment, so I’m not too worried about it,” Fuchs said.

To date, more than 1,500 Dartmouth students and faculty have been tested with no confirmed cases. However, two people are in isolation because they are experiencing COVID-like symptoms.

“We really need folks to take the public health requirements seriously,” said Hanover Town Manager Julia Griffin.

Downtown Hanover has been noticeably busier the last couple of days. The town recently passed an emergency ordinance that limits gatherings to less than 10 people.

“Third warning, a $1,000 citation which is provided for in state law, so this is really designed to minimize the likelihood that we are going to have large gatherings of people,” Griffin said.

Every student who arrives on campus has to sign a form agreeing to the rules which include wearing masks, social distancing and no parties. Violators could be suspended and their access to campus revoked.

“I’m pretty sure that right of the bat, students won’t want to get put in the wrong light for doing the wrong thing,” Fuchs said.

“I am confident that my class has the best interest of the community in mind. And that we will do everything possible to remain on campus,” Moreda said.

College officials have said repeatedly that the safety of the entire community is their top priority. However, students will have to do their part to make that a reality.

Middlebury College welcomes back students

Meanwhile at Middlebury College, classes also began Tuesday.

Lecture halls and other classrooms have been changed around to allow for social distancing.

Students also took advantage of the beautiful weather and learned outside.

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