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UNH Investigates Halloween Gatherings As Student COVID Cases Rise

photo of unh wildcat statue
Dan Tuohy | NHPR

The University of New Hampshire is reporting a record number of COVID-19 cases on campus.

The school's weekly positive case number has doubled since last week, now at 67. Of the total 84 active cases, 73 are students, and a total of 351 people are in quarantine, more than triple the amount quarantined two weeks ago.

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UNH's test positivity rate, however, remains far lower than the state's positivity rate at 0.29 percent, with every student on campus tested regularly.

The university is investigating several allegations of large off-campus gatherings on Halloween weekend as potential sources of community spread, according to UNH spokesperson Erika Mantz. In a video shared with community members, UNH President Jim Dean and Senior Vice Provost for Student Life Kenneth Holmes asked students to remain vigilant in the final weeks of the semester.

"We really want to keep our campuses open through Nov. 20 as planned, but every single one of us must commit to staying vigilant for that to happen," Dean said. "While our positive cases remain below the state and U.S. levels, we're seeing the number of close contacts for each positive case steadily climb."

Students on UNH campuses will return to remote learning after Nov. 20 and remain remote until the end of the semester.

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