CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Dartmouth College students will stay close to campus, researchers are analyzing wastewater and a Manchester museum is reopening as New Hampshire responds to the coronanvirus pandemic:
Dartmouth College students barely will be able to venture off-campus when they return this fall.
According to the latest travel restrictions, undergraduate students will not be permitted to travel beyond the local area, which is defined as the towns of Hanover, Enfield, Lebanon, Lyme, and West Lebanon in New Hampshire, and Norwich and Hartford in Vermont.
Graduate students, faculty and staff have more leeway. But those traveling outside New England, even for day trips, will be prohibited from accessing campus buildings for 14 days after they return.
Researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock are part of a national effort to better track the course of community outbreaks of the coronavirus by studying wastewater.
Studies indicate genetic material from the virus can be recovered from the stools of about half of patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Researchers across the U.S. and in Europe who are analyzing wastewater say the approach can serve as an early warning because it can detect trends several days before results appear from community testing or people get sick enough to show up at a hospital.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock plans a three-phase project that includes comparing available testing methods, testing wastewater from three communities daily for two weeks and then conducting broader surveillance at more sites across New Hampshire and Vermont. Officials said Wednesday those sites will include nursing homes, prisons and colleges to monitor specific at-risk communities.
“There is definitely national momentum behind this topic,” said Dr. Isabella Martin, a medical microbiologist and co-leader of the project. “Here at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, we feel well-positioned to be at the forefront of testing in our region, contribute our data to the national effort and help develop the best methods for testing.”
The Currier Museum of Art is reopening to the public five months after it closed and moved its programs online because of the coronavirus.
The museum in Manchester will reopen Thursday, with multiple safety measures in place. All visitors must wear masks, and capacity in each gallery will be limited.
New exhibits focus on video games and contemporary art, photographs from the Civil Rights movement and drawings that tell the story of an enslaved family's journey to freedom.
As of Tuesday, 7,017 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 13 from the previous day. One new death was announced, for a total of 424. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks from 28 new cases per day on Aug. 3 to 23 new cases per day on Aug. 17.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.