CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Dartmouth College has begun planning for a “normal fall term,” as long as COVID-19 cases remain low and much of the community gets vaccinated by the end of the summer.

“There are a lot of caveats, and it may turn out that we are able to increase the number of students on campus substantially but not get to 100%,” Provost Joseph Helbe said Wednesday during his weekly “Community Conversations” broadcast. “It’s simply too early to answer that question. But we’ve structured our decision-making process in a way that will give us a maximum amount of time to make data-driven and thoughtful decisions in support of that goal.”

For now, about half of the college’s undergraduate students are on campus. The college has gone five days with no new COVID-19 cases among students and eight days for employees. But Helbe said the risks posed by new virus mutations require caution. He said it is highly unlikely that visitors will be able to attend the graduation ceremony being planned for spring.

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