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St. Joseph's College temporarily shifting to all remote classes after 9 positive COVID-19 cases on campus

According to the college, most of the cases came from the same connected group and most are from a single residence hall.

STANDISH, Maine — St. Joseph's College President Jim Dlugos said starting Monday, September 14, all classes will be delivered remotely and students will learn from their rooms on campus for as long as the next two weeks. This comes after nine cases of COVID-19 have been detected on campus.

In a Saturday letter addressed to the St. Joseph's community, Dlugos wrote in part:

Starting tomorrow, Sunday, September 13th, SJC will implement a “study-in-place” program for all campus students, for those in residence, and commuters. This protective “surge” will last for up to two weeks (and be continuously evaluated), as a precaution to stop viral transmission and eventually return to Level 1 status and “normal” campus life.

What does this mean? First, all classes will be delivered remotely, and students will learn from their rooms on campus. Commuter students will learn from their off-campus residences.

Along with the change to instructional delivery, students will be required to stay in their rooms as much as possible for this period. We know this will be difficult, but both the College and the CDC view this as a necessary step that will give us the space we need to stop the spread of the virus.

Dlugos said the students who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be isolated for 10 days in O’Connor Hall, or at home if students and their families choose. 

Additionally, Dlugos said individuals going through the contact tracing process who must quarantine for 14 days must do so off-campus, with certain exceptions.  

"Our contact tracing processes have identified that the majority of the cases came from the same connected group. Most of them are from a single residence hall," Dlugos said. "We will remain vigilant and continue to identify cases early through our wastewater testing, expand our individual surveillance testing, and use the CDC’s support for contact tracing to minimize, and ultimately stop, the spread of the virus. "

The college is providing COVID-19 updates on its campus health dashboard.