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COVID-19 update for April 14 to April 20

There are currently five positive cases in isolation and no students in quarantine, a steep decline from the 28 positive cases in isolation and 17 students in quarantine this time last week.

There was one new case in the past week, a faculty or staff member, but no others since the two on April 13. 24 additional positive cases have been recovered in the past week, bringing the total to 118.

 128,184 total tests have been administered, 1.4% of which have been inconclusive.

As of April 14, the previous protocol restrictions have been lifted. These had included limited dorm access, virtual programming, and limitations on the Jitney and Colby Shuttle.

These restrictions had been imposed when Dean of the College Karlene Burrell-McRae `94 announced protocol changes on April 7 due to the steady rise in COVID-19 cases on campus and in the state of Maine. There were 117 total students in isolation or quarantine with 23 positive cases on campus at the time (13 of which were connected) and 94 students in quarantine.

The College shared with students that they had seen trends of social gatherings in dorms, students eating in restaurants and bars, people travelling together in vehicles without masks, and students making “pods” among their friends with whom they do not mask or distance themselves.

The spike in cases, however, was not connected to in-person classes, dining halls, or athletic activities.

Dean of Students Barbara Moore updated students on April 11 that, through April 14, the above measures would stay in place except that in-person programming was permitted again and Jitney and shuttle access was no longer restricted.

President David Greene told the class of 2021 that commencement will happen in person on May 22 and 23 and that each graduating senior will be allowed to bring two guests each.

The testing portal no longer shows cases by county in Maine because “as of March 31, 2021, Maine CDC no longer provides recovery figures as part of its daily public data. As we relied on this number to calculate active cases in each county, we are no longer able to update the map.”

Maine residents above the age of 16 can get vaccinated against COVID-19 as of April 7. The College will not require students, faculty or staff to get vaccinated this semester but does encourage community members to do so.

Athletic competitions have resumed, with spring season teams allowed to play other schools in Maine and colleges within the New England Small Athletic Conference outside the state this month.

Members of the testing program receive two PCR tests and one antigen test a week.

The College has been at the yellow health code level since the start of the semester. This means lower dining hall capacities, face masks required within dorms, increased cleaning, and remote learning for classes above 50 students.

~ Sonia Lachter ‘22

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