With students from the University of New Hampshire moving into their dorms in just over two weeks, officials in the town of Durham are strongly urging residents to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The following was posted on the Town of Durham, NH Facebook page on Tuesday.

"Being fully vaccinated will decrease your chances of becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus or transmitting it to your family, friends, and others in the Durham/Oyster River community with whom you have close contact.

In addition, fully vaccinated people who become infected with COVID-19 are less likely to experience severe symptoms, hospitalization, or death. If you have questions about the vaccine, it is recommended that you discuss this with your personal physician."

According to the post, community vaccination clinics are being organized by the town and library.

A free vaccination clinic is being planned at Town Hall for sometime in September.

The Durham Public Library is also working with the state to schedule a clinic on another date in the fall.

Masks may be required in Durham again.

Last year, the town council in Durham passed an emergency ordinance that required people to wear face masks even while they were outside if they could not socially distance themselves from other individuals.

That ordinance included a $100 fine for the first offense, a $200 fine for the second offense and a $500 fine for the third and subsequent offenses.

Town officials could impose a mask requirement in public buildings such as Town Hall.

“If Covid-19 active case counts and the rate of transmission in the region becomes an increasing concern, there is a likelihood that we will require the wearing of masks within Durham municipal facilities once again for the general public and for staff interacting with the public, regardless of vaccination status,” officials said in Tuesday’s post.

Officials have ordered masks for people in case supplies become harder to come by.

The University of New Hampshire is requiring students to mask up while inside classrooms.

Officials will require students to wear masks while inside their classrooms, according to the town’s Facebook post.

UNH created a state-of-the-art testing lab last year so students and faculty members could each be tested twice a week.

Officials at the University of New Hampshire in Durham will require arrival testing as well as regular testing in September for every member of their community, vaccinated or unvaccinated.

President James Dean said in his July update that while state law prohibits the college from requiring vaccination, he cannot stress enough the importance of people getting their shots.

"The more members of our community who are vaccinated, the more safe and open our campuses will be, especially for those who are unable to or choose not to be vaccinated," Dean wrote.

Campus-specific arrival testing information will follow in the second week of August, but regular testing for the month of September will be as follows:

  • Unvaccinated individuals: Same frequency as last year, two times a week for students, once a week for employees
  • Fully vaccinated individuals: Once every other week or more frequently on a voluntary basis

First-year students will start moving into their dorm rooms on Aug. 27.

A total of 1,391 people have died from COVID-19 in the Granite State.

According to the interactive map on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website, there were eight positive cases in Durham on Tuesday. There were 52 people hospitalized in New Hampshire.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.

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