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College to sanitize buildings after return of student from Italy

March 7, 2020

In an “abundance of caution” the College today said it will be sanitizing multiple areas of campus visited during a 24-hour period by a student who returned to Bowdoin after studying abroad in Italy, which now has a travel Warning Level 3 from the Center for Disease Control.

Janet Lohmann, senior vice president and dean for student affairs, wrote in an email to the Orient that all of the common areas and restrooms in the buildings visited by the student “were cleaned with a special disinfectant for COVID-19.”

Lohmann added, “We will also be going into the individual room and apartment that the student visited to clean as well. We are contacting the residents of those spaces to let them know we will be in their rooms.”

In an email sent to students, faculty and staff this afternoon, the College reported that a student visited a Brunswick Apartment, Chamberlain Hall and the Coles Tower lobby between 5:00 p.m. Thursday and 5:30 p.m. Friday, at which time “they were asked to leave campus and return home.”

The email was sent by Lohmann and Matt Orlando, senior vice president for finance and administration and treasurer of the College.

According to the email, a second student who studied in Italy also returned to Brunswick, but reportedly only “visited downtown Brunswick this past week.”

“This student encountered a Bowdoin student-in-residence while in town, but did not come to campus,” Lohmann and Orlando wrote.

The email also said, “In consultation with our campus physician, we do not believe that there is a significant risk that these students were exposed to the novel coronavirus while in Italy, nor is either student presenting any of the symptoms of COVID-19.”

Lohmann and Orlando’s email came a day after the Orient began asking administrators questions about the return of two students, not one, to Bowdoin campus.

Orient staff saw two of the students who had been studying in Italy on campus on Thursday.

Today’s email also disclosed that another one of the students studying in Italy, who did not return to Bowdoin campus, was enrolled in a study abroad program with a student from another university who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The email said, “Our student has not presented any symptoms of COVID-19, has been self-isolating at home, and has not been to campus since returning to the United States.”

Editor’s Note 3/7/20 3:19 p.m.: This article was updated to reflect the specific sanitary measures used in the buildings visited by the student who studied abroad in Italy.


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