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With cases on the rise, students return to thrice-weekly testing

April 7, 2021

Editor’s Note 04/08/2021 at 9:25 p.m.: A previous version of this article stated that the testing center closed at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays. A correction has since been issued from the College; it closes at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays. 

Beginning on Monday, April 12, all students, faculty and staff who currently take two COVID-19 tests each week will start testing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to all students and employees on Wednesday afternoon.

“This change in testing frequency will be in place for the next two weeks, if not longer. COVID-19 cases are quickly increasing in Maine and many of our peer institutions are experiencing large outbreaks. The number of positive cases on our campus is also rising,” Ranen wrote. “Increased frequency of testing is designed to identify cases early in their trajectory, ideally before a person is able to transmit the virus to others.”

In his email, Ranen noted that, while the testing center stays open until 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it will close at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It will still open at 7 a.m. each weekday morning.

Faculty and staff who had been receiving one COVID-19 test each week through Bowdoin’s testing program will continue to do so, but they will now be scheduled alphabetically on two separate days, with those whose last names begin with A through L testing on Tuesdays and those whose last names begin with M through Z testing on Thursdays. Previous registrations for COVID-19 tests made through CampusGroups have been removed.

Ranen clarified in a message to the Orient that registration will not be required for this group for testing between April 12 and May 21.

In his email to all students and employees, Ranen also addressed the start of the partnership vaccination program between Bowdoin and Mid Coast Hospital (MCH), writing that over 900 students had signed up for an appointment and would begin to be vaccinated on Wednesday in groups of 50 each day. However, he stressed that immunity is still several weeks away for most.

“Please keep in mind that a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose,” Ranen wrote. “For students or anyone else who receives the Pfizer vaccine provided at the MCH clinic, it will take five weeks from the first dose to be considered fully vaccinated.”

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