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Dartmouth expands mental health services, loosens dorm rules

May 24, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Dartmouth College is increasing mental health support and loosening some COVID-19 restrictions in dorms amid concerns about students feeling isolated.

“The pandemic has exacerbated many problems, but foremost among them has been mental health,” Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon and other officials said Friday in message to students, employees and parents of undergraduates. “On this critical issue, we must do more to support our community.”

Under the new rules meant to increase socialization, students are now allowed to host two guests who also live on campus in their dorm rooms at the same time, the Valley News reported.

The college also is adding a second nurse to the on-call staffing at its health center and plans to add new counselors and a student wellness coordinator to expand mental health services. The two counselors will also receive suicide prevention training following the deaths of multiple students throughout the pandemic.

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The changes were announced two days after the death of a freshman at her home in New York. Two other freshmen and a junior also have died this academic year. A candlelight vigil for all four will be held Tuesday night.

THE NUMBERS

More than 98,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in New Hampshire, including 52 cases announced Monday. No new deaths were announced, keeping the total at 1,344.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 178 new cases a day on May 8 to 90 new cases a day on Saturday.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.