To fight COVID-19, Bates College strengthens its defenses

Bates College students enjoy a warm Wednesday on the Lewiston campus. Steve collins

LEWISTON – Bates College is taking new steps to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks that could derail a good start to the fall semester.

Officials told students this week that they will need to undergo weekly tests for the virus at least until the end of September.

“These ongoing tests are critical to understanding the transmission of COVID-19 on campus, particularly among asymptomatic people, and will provide the data we need to determine whether additional public health measures are needed to protect the health of the community, ”Joshua said. McIntosh, vice president for campus life, told the students in an email Tuesday.

Seven students and two staff members have COVID-19. Students should be vaccinated, while faculty and staff have been encouraged to do so.

McIntosh said 98% of the campus community is fully vaccinated.

“We remain optimistic that adhering to current public health protocols and ongoing testing will allow us to continue our successful learning and in-person lives and avoid the outbreaks of COVID-19 transmission that we are seeing in d ‘other institutions across the country,’ he said. .

In a similar note to university employees, Bates vice president of finance and administration, Geoffrey Swift, thanked the university staff for their “patience and commitment to staying healthy and healthy. safety as we sail together this semester ”.

College officials said they were also expanding the requirement for everyone in Bates to wear masks indoors, except when eating or when people are alone. The requirement does not include dormitories, however.

Bates also prohibits guests and visitors from entering its buildings, except for speakers, artists and athletes invited by the college.

McIntosh said if COVID-19 rates rise, the college “will consider measures such as increased testing frequency, suspension of universal student access to halls of residence, expanded masking requirements, changes to the catering program, restrictions on size, scale, type of activity / program and location of events on campus, as well as restrictions on off-campus travel.

“These steps may be necessary to avoid disruption of the in-person classroom experience,” he said.

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