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N.H. College Presidents Provide COVID-19 Updates to USNH Board of Trustees

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

College presidents provided an update on Thursday to the University System of New Hampshire board of trustees on how reopening is going.

Jim Dean, president of the University of New Hampshire, said most of the 80 active cases of COVID-19 on campus are asymptomatic students.

“Which is an extraordinary claim to make. I keep asking and that’s what I keep getting back,”he said.

Earlier this month, state officials announced a COVID outbreak tied to the Theta Chi fraternity at UNH at the end of August. Twelve positive cases are connected to that party.

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Dean said the school is weighing consequences for the fraternity, and will announce its decision in the next week or two. The frat has already been suspended by UNH.

At Keene State College, there are currently four active cases of COVID-19. Melinda Treadwell, the college’s president, says that testing and contact tracing on campus are going smoothly.

“Our students are contacted and in isolation, and their close contacts are quarantined within two hours,” she said. Treadwell said these cases have all been asymptomatic as well.  

Given the number of cases, Treadwell says she’s “feeling very impressed by the low incidence rates. I have confidence. I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll continue to be able to operate.”

The executive committee will meet again next Thursday, Sept. 17.

Daniela is NHPR's reporter in the Upper Valley and Monadnock regions. She also leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.

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