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Amid 'sharp rise' in COVID cases on campus, Bates College initiates campus lockdown

Until Tuesday, April 6, students may only leave their residence hall rooms, houses, or apartments for a few essential reasons.
Credit: Bates College

LEWISTON, Maine — In response to a "sharp rise" in COVID-19 cases on campus, Bates College vice president for campus life Joshua McIntosh sent a letter to students Thursday telling them no students are permitted to leave campus through at least Tuesday, April 6.

McIntosh said students may only leave their residence hall room or off-campus house/apartment for the following essential reasons:

  • Attend a scheduled and mandatory COVID-19 testing appointment, during which the student may also stop by Post & Print after their testing appointment to pick up packages and mail
  • Pick up a Dash meal
  • Use the restroom
  • Pick up prescription medication
  • Go to Bates Health Services or visit a medical provider

McIntosh said the "in-room restriction" means that all classes will shift to fully remote learning until at least Wednesday, April 7.  

"Coming out of last weekend, we have seen a sudden, sharp rise in cases of COVID-19 on campus. As of this writing, we have 34 active COVID-19 student cases who are in isolation housing, and an additional 50 students in quarantine," McIntosh wrote in the letter. "As we continue with contact tracing today, the number of students in quarantine is expected to increase."

All in-person classes and activities, including use of the Merrill Gymnasium and Ladd Library, have been suspended, and students should work with their faculty to transition to remote learning, according to McIntosh.

"I am very sorry that we need to take these actions at such a stressful point in the semester, and we need your help in adhering strictly to these guidelines so that we succeed in containing this outbreak," McIntosh wrote.

According to McIntosh, student COVID-19 testing on Friday, April 2 and Monday, April 5 will now include both an antigen test and a PCR test. 

To read McIntosh's full letter to Bates students, CLICK HERE.