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Maine colleges update COVID policies for when students return in 2022

Both Bates College and the University of New England updated guidelines for when students return after the holiday break.

LEWISTON, Maine — Bates College and the University of New England have new COVID guidelines for students when they return after their holiday break. 

“The particular characteristics of omicron present new challenges for residential settings, where people live in congregate housing and eat together,” Bates Vice President for Campus Life Joshua McIntosh wrote in a message on the college’s website. “Accordingly, we must take a more stringent approach to the winter semester’s arrival testing and onboarding period in January.” 

All students should test for COVID within 48 hours of departure to travel back to campus. When students get to campus, they’ll need to visit Muskie Archives (across the street from the Bates College Store) to get a rapid antigen test. 

They’ll also need to present a digital image or hard copy of their COVID vaccination card with proof of the booster shot at Muskie Archives, McIntosh wrote. 

“If a student tests positive for COVID on the pre-arrival test, the student should not travel to Bates,” the website stated. 

Students must be masked when indoors, with limited exceptions. 

To read the full guidelines, click here

In a message to students, University of New England President James D. Herbert wrote, “In accordance with the latest CDC guidance and recommendations from our own medical experts, we will put the following protocols in place for the beginning of the spring semester.” 

The school set a deadline for students to get COVID booster shots by Feb. 16. And for all on-campus students, faculty, and professional staff during their first week of returning to campus, double-masking will be required indoors. 

“This means wearing two surgical masks, a surgical mask with a cloth mask over it, or one KN95 or N95 mask, which does not need an additional layer. Masks will not be required outdoors,” Herbert wrote in his message to students. 

To read the full guidelines, click here.

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