WATERVILLE, Maine — Colby College reported five positive COVID-19 tests Monday - three among students and two among staff.
According to the college, the positive tests have occurred over the past month.
The three students who tested positive are not experiencing symptoms and are in isolation. Their cases are unrelated and were not contracted at Colby, Dean Karlene Burrell-McRae said.
As for the staff members who tested positive, the college said the two employees who tested positive were retested and received two consecutive negative results. One of the staff members had been working remotely since March and the other was tested early in the process and has since left the college for a position elsewhere.
In each of the positive cases detected at Colby in the past several days, contact tracers identified and contacted individuals who needed to quarantine based on CDC guidelines. The test-positive individuals were immediately isolated and retested as quickly as possible, according to NEWS CENTER Maine's partners at the Portland Press Herald. In some cases, additional tests returned negative results, Burrell-McRae said.
“Our testing program is functioning as we intended: first, it is helping us to identify anyone who might be infected and therefore at risk and/or potentially putting others at risk; second, it is setting the baseline for future testing,” Burrell-McRae told NEWS CENTER Maine's partners at the Portland Press Herald. “This is important because the test Colby is using is a highly sensitive PCR test that can detect evidence of the virus in a person’s system long after the individual is contagious."
The college has launched an online dashboard to include negative tests, inconclusive tests and positive cases, including those in isolation.
Colby students started returning to campus last week and classes are scheduled to begin Wednesday, August 26.
RELATED: NESCAC cancels fall sports
RELATED: Bates reopening plan spurs petition; Bowdoin Orient survey finds most faculty approve of school's plan