Students are scheduled to return to the University of New Hampshire after on February 1 after a five-week winter break. This date is a week later than students were originally slated to arrive.

Here's how the university is planning for the start of the semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

All on-campus students and students living in the Durham community are required to test before and upon arrival. Online students or remote students can opt out of testing. Upon arrival, students can request a self-swab test kit or show proof of a negative PCR test.

Following guidelines from the fall semester, all undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff that plan to be on campus this spring must be tested frequently. Students are tested twice a week on an assigned day, while staff and faculty are tested once a week.

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If a student tests positive, the health and wellness department will conduct contract tracing. The infected student will isolate and anyone who encountered the infected student will be mandated to quarantine in order to slow the spread. The university has designated two dorms, Adams Tower West and Babcock Hall, as isolation and quarantine dorms. Students who need to isolate or quarantine are provided meals while in the dorms.

As of January 13, there were 79 active cases within the UNH community, 65 of which were students. All students were in isolation or in quarantine. In the past week, the positivity rate was 0.57%, which is below the state’s current seven-day antigen and PCR test positivity rate of 7.4%, according to public health data.

In August, the university announced they built a new lab to manage testing and results for the Durham, Manchester and Concord campuses.

Since UNH began testing in July of last year, they have tested a total of 18,602 members of the community and maintained a 99.73% negativity rate and an overall 0.27% positivity rate.

The school announced on January 11 that they partnered with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human services (DHHS) to provide testing to 30 long-term care facilities and shelters throughout the state. This service began in late December and has since processed 3,000 tests in addition to the UNH campus testing.

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