Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) opted to provide two “Wildcat Wellness Weekends” instead of a traditional spring break.   

Instead of the traditional week-long break from classes, the university has given two “non-instructional” Fridays off, swapping class days with one Monday and one Tuesday, respectively. This is in an effort to reduce travel and decrease the spread of COVID-19. The first Wildcat Wellness Weekend occurred March 19-22, and the second and final break will occur this weekend, April 16-18.  

“As you plan your break from studies, check out ‘Wildcat Wellness Weekend,’ where you can participate in a wide range of programs to support your wellness and self-care.  As this is a very stressful time for all of us, investing time to relax, socialize, or try something new is essential to navigate the rest of the semester,” wrote Senior Vice Provost for Student Life Kenneth Holmes in a statement on March 12.  

There will be many activities and events offered this weekend, with a focus on overall wellness and self-care. Offerings include group exercise classes, STI/HIV testing at Health & Wellness, an energy bite grab bag food event, painting events, mindfulness workshops, Memorial Union Building (MUB) movies and more.  

The statement also offered some guidance for safely enjoying these weekends. Holmes encouraged students to stay local, avoid travelling outside of the New England area, submit a one-time testing exception if you will be away, and continue to exercise caution and adhere to state and university guidelines.  

“To ensure a safe campus, it is incumbent upon us to make wise choices as we approach next week. The university’s goal for the remainder of the semester is to continue to have low COVID positive rates,” wrote Holmes.  

At the time of writing, UNH has a total of 133 active COVID-19 cases – 127 students, 4 faculty/staff and 2 contractors. The current positivity rate is 0.43%. 127 people are in isolation and 171 are in quarantine.  

UNH offers mental health support at all times, and these services are especially important during the pandemic. If you need mental health support, please call PACS at 862-2090 or Wellness coaching at Health & Wellness at 862-9355. Find them online at: www.unh.edu/pacs/ 

“Take care and enjoy your spring semester. Let us all continue our commitment to living and working on a respectful, safe and healthy UNH campus,” said Holmes.  

Photo courtesy of the University of New Hampshire.