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COVID-19

News in Brief

College sees uptick in positive Covid cases in March

The College currently has a total of 50 active Covid-19 cases, with 42 from students and eight from employees, according to the Covid-19 dashboard. “Some told us they were positive. Many were actually part of teams that were traveling together over break,” Associate Dean for Academic Administration and Covid-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen said.

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News in Brief

College announces Covid-19 protocols for spring break

In an email to the student body on Thursday, Covid-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced that all students are expected to take an antigen test before traveling back to the College after spring break. Some additional restrictions will be in place, as students will return to the Monday/Thursday PCR testing framework that has remained in place this semester.

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COVID-19

Documenting Bowdoin’s Covid-19 test transport

Since the College reopened to students in late August 2020, students, faculty and staff have undergone rigorous testing for Covid-19 twice or even three times each week. While walks to the testing center—once Morrell Gymnasium and now Farley Field House—are ingrained in the collective conscience of the College community, what happens to Covid samples after they are collected remains a mystery to most.

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COVID-19

College further eases COVID-19 guidelines

With consistently low case numbers in recent weeks, the College further loosened its COVID-19 restrictions throughout campus this week. In a campus-wide email on February 11, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced that Bowdoin Dining Services would return to full capacity beginning on Monday, February 14.

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News in Brief

Masking and dining restrictions loosen

In a February 4 email to the campus community, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced that some masking and dining restrictions would be relaxed effective immediately. This is the latest development in a series of recent updates loosening COVID-19 restrictions.

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COVID-19

Some students reprimanded for low masking compliance in dorms

COVID-19 Resource Coordinator and Director of Residential and Student Life Mike Ranen notified all first-year students and students from select upperclassmen housing on campus Tuesday that a recent lack of adherence to indoor masking policies in dorm common spaces had elicited numerous complaints from housekeeping staff and had even caused some housekeepers to request a change to their building assignments.

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COVID-19

College to require booster shot

In an email to the campus community Wednesday, President Clayton Rose announced that the College will require all eligible students, staff and faculty to receive COVID-19 booster shots in order to return to campus for the spring semester.

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COVID-19

College remains in Green status post-break

Despite detecting 11 new active cases of COVID-19 following Thanksgiving break, the College remains in status level Green. Although COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen had previously reported that the College hoped to loosen mask restrictions on Wednesday, given the current number of cases, the indoor mask restriction will remain in place until at least today, until further notice.

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Highlight Reel

Highlight Reel for October 29

WINTER SPORTS FLURRY The winter athletic season will be in full swing soon. Competitions begin November 13, headlined by the women’s basketball team facing Nazareth College in the University of New England (UNE) Tip-Off Tournament in Biddeford and the men’s basketball team taking on Thomas College at home.

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News in Brief

College eases campus masking requirements

Masks will no longer be required in student residence halls, administrative or academic buildings, athletic facilities and Smith Union, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the campus community today. Additionally, dining halls will reopen for faculty and staff, effective immediately.

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News in Brief

College shifts back to Green

The College saw a small number of new COVID-19 cases as students and staff returned to campus after fall break. Two students and one staff member tested positive for the virus on October 14, followed by two more positive cases among staff members on October 17 and 18.

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News in Brief

College remains in yellow status

In an email to the Bowdoin community on Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residential and Student Life Mike Ranen announced that one student tested positive from over 2,000 PCR tests administered Tuesday and Wednesday.

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News in Brief

College shifts to Yellow following an increase in COVID-19 cases before fall break

In an email to the campus community on Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced that the College would be moving back to Yellow status that evening following an uptick in cases after Homecoming weekend. This change came on the heels of an email sent Tuesday in which Ranen announced that the College would transition back to Yellow beginning Monday, October 11 after fall break.

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COVID-19

Students excited to return to Kent Island, New Brunswick, Canada after COVID-19 Hiatus

Cancelled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-awaited field excursion to Bowdoin’s field station on Kent Island in New Brunswick, Canada, finally took place last weekend. Since the recent readmission of American citizens across the Canadian border on August 9, 2021, 16 Bowdoin students taking Ecology and Biology of Marine Organisms this semester were able to cross the border and participate in the Kent Island trip, led by Ian Kyle, assistant director of the Bowdoin College Scientific Station on Kent Island, and Patricia Jones, assistant professor of Biology and director of the Bowdoin College Scientific Station on Kent Island.

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COVID-19

College revises Yellow status restrictions, missed test conduct policy

In response to the improved COVID-19 infection rate on campus, the College will relax some of its Yellow status restrictions related to dining and residence halls effective today, Friday, September 17. Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Director of Residential and Student Life and COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced the change in an email to the Bowdoin community Wednesday afternoon, crediting the original restrictions for the low levels of transmission over the past ten days.

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COVID-19

College introduces app to assist contact tracing

In a September 9 email, Senior Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Janet Lohmann introduced NAVICA, a mobile app to help the College’s effort in managing COVID-19 outbreaks on campus. After moving to Yellow status and extending the mask mandate in the past two weeks, this marks another step in the College’s effort to curb infection rates.

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Administration

Behind the mask: The face of Bowdoin’s COVID-19 response

Mike Ranen usually starts his morning by checking the College’s COVID-19 test results around 6 a.m.. The results of those tests will dictate the course of his day. On a good day, Ranen can balance his job as the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residential and Student Life, as well as his role as the College’s COVID-19 Resource Coordinator.

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COVID-19

Isolation protocol adapts to rising COVID-19 cases

As students finish week two of classes and workloads begin to increase, so has the number of COVID-19 cases. According to current manager of isolation housing and Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Assistant to the Dean for Student Affairs Katie Toro-Ferrari, there are 30 students in isolation as of Friday morning.

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COVID-19

Mask mandate implemented and extended

After lacking a masking requirement for the summer, on August 23 the College imposed an indoor mask mandate beginning on move-in day and requiring masks to be worn inside all public areas on campus. Although the College intended to reconsider the mandate on September 4, due to a flurry of positive tests the mandate was expanded to include student common spaces and extended indefinitely on Thursday.

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News in Brief

Vaccinations on campus

While the majority of Bowdoin’s student body was fully vaccinated prior to arrival on campus, a few students—primarily international students unable to obtain one or both doses of the vaccine in their home countries—were vaccinated upon arrival through Bowdoin Health Services or at Mid Coast Hospital.

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News in Brief

Indoor mask mandate announced for all members of the campus community and visitors

An indoor mask mandate will be in effect on campus for all students, faculty, staff and visitors beginning Tuesday, August 24, President Clayton Rose announced in an email to the College community Monday morning. There are three exceptions to the indoor mask mandate: face coverings are not required for individuals while actively eating, for students in their own residence halls or for faculty and staff in their own offices.

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Coronavirus

Shift in off-campus study policy now allows more students to go abroad for the fall

Students who were set to study abroad in the fall of 2021 have had a tumultuous few weeks. Following the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) decision to merge its travel advisories with those set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these students were notified during the first round of course registration that, if they were traveling to a country that the DOS had just categorized as Level 4, they were strongly encouraged to withdraw from their prospective study abroad status with Bowdoin and register for courses.

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COVID-19

Students finish honors projects amid pandemic delays

As a compressed and atypical academic year comes to an end, some graduating seniors are wrapping up their honors projects despite delays caused by limited access to laboratories and difficulty obtaining sources remotely. For seniors conducting scientific research, the pandemic’s biggest impact on their work was the closure of on-campus labs last summer.

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COVID-19

Fewer Bowdoin applicants granted Fulbright awards than expected

The College saw fewer acceptances for the Fulbright Student Program this year than is typical, despite a record number of applicants, many of whom advanced to the semi-finalist stage. Of the 62 applicants for the 2021-2022 program year, 39 were recommended to be semifinalists and eight students were selected for English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) programs, while five were selected for the study/research award—a 20 percent acceptance rate.

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Coronavirus

Despite relaxation of state mask mandate, the College requires that masks stay on outdoors

On Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen addressed Governor Janet Mills’ decision to loosen the state’s mask mandate in an email to the College community. Despite new state guidelines that people do not need to wear masks outdoors when they are practicing social distancing, Ranen asked in his email that members of the community continue wearing masks on campus.

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Coronavirus

Moulton Union reopens following COVID-19 cases

Yesterday, Moulton Union re-opened for lunch for the first time since closing last week after six positive COVID-19 cases emerged among the dining hall’s staff beginning April 6. After the initial case, the College began administering rapid antigen tests to Moulton employees, which led to the identification of four more positive cases.

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News in Brief

Student tests positive for COVID-19 after reporting symptoms to Health Services

A student reported symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and subsequently received a positive result from Health Services’ rapid PCR testing instrument, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the community on Monday. The student is being moved to isolation housing, and through contact tracing, the College determined that no additional students are required to quarantine.

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Coronavirus

Over 900 Bowdoin students register for vaccine appointments through College program

On Sunday at 5 p.m., registration opened on CampusGroups for students to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Mid Coast Hospital’s clinic at the Brunswick Recreation Center beginning Wednesday. Despite website glitches and slowdowns, according to COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen, over 900 students were registered for an appointment within half an hour.

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Coronavirus

Reflecting on COVID-19 two months into the semester

Two months into a spring semester like no other and with over 1,000 students on campus Bowdoin has managed to keep its positive COVID-19 case numbers relatively low. Despite a recent uptick in cases, it has also managed to stay in the least restrictive campus status level—”yellow”—since leaving “Hibearnation” and three days of “orange” in mid-February.

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Coronavirus

Moulton Union temporarily closed after three employees test positive for COVID-19

Moulton Union will be closed until breakfast tomorrow after three employees tested positive for COVID-19 this week, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen wrote in an email to the community on Thursday. Ranen wrote that the College closed the dining hall as a “precautionary measure.” Moulton dining employees will come to campus to receive a rapid antigen and PCR test every day, but they will leave campus immediately after they complete both tests.

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News in Brief

College to facilitate access to Pfizer vaccines for students living in Maine

Editor’s Note on Friday, April 2, at 12:02 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect additional information released to the student body about the College’s vaccination partnership with Mid Coast Hospital.  The College will work with Mid Coast Hospital to provide Pfizer vaccinations to all Bowdoin students after vaccine eligibility is extended to all Maine residents over the age of 16 on April 7, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to students on Thursday afternoon.

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Coronavirus

Many Bowdoin students left behind by age-based vaccine rollout

Despite Maine’s relatively efficient rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine—the state is currently ranked tenth nationally in percentage of the population that has been fully vaccinated—the state’s transition to an age-based distribution plan has placed many Bowdoin students at the end of the line, resulting in a sense of uncertainty, disappointment and a scramble to find alternate solutions.

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News in Brief

College employee tests positive for COVID-19

In an email to the community sent on Saturday afternoon, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator announced that an employee of the College tested positive for COVID-19 in Friday’s on-campus testing. The employee is isolating at home. One other employee was identified as a close contact through contact tracing and is now quarantined at home.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 comparison: Bowdoin sees fewest cases among NESCAC peers

With the week of February 21 coming to a close, all 11 NESCAC schools have now welcomed students back to their campuses for the start of the spring semester. While Colby brought students back to start their January term on January 8, most NESCAC schools made significant adjustments to their academic calendar in order to delay the start of their spring semester until early or mid February.

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BSG

BSG plans to release guidelines for student safety on campus

Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) has announced it is releasing its Student-Driven Behavioral Expectations—a document meant to help clarify how students can safely enjoy the spring semester. “We’ve already signed a community agreement form, and the purpose of this is to help explain how to live student life,” said BSG President Marcus Williams ’21 in a Zoom interview with the Orient.

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Coronavirus

15 students study abroad as countries close borders

In addition to transforming life on campus, COVID-19 has complicated the plans of students who were intending to study off campus during the 2020-21 school year. Only 15 of the 29 students who, as of this past fall, intended to study off-campus were able to, three of whom are studying with domestic programs while the rest are at various institutions in the United Kingdom.

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Campus

ResLife, Student Affairs provide details about Spring Campus Community Agreement

Staff from Residential Life and the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs—including Director of Residential Education Whitney Hogan, Associate Dean of Upperclass Students Khoa Khuong and Dean of Students Kristina Bethea Odejimi—offered several clarifications about the Campus Community Agreement on Monday, November 23 during an informal question-and-answer office hours session with students.

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COVID-19

Two Dining Services employees test positive for COVID-19

A second Dining Services employee tested positive for COVID-19 this week, Mike Ranen, COVID-19 resource coordinator, announced in an email to all students and employees on Thursday afternoon. Both employees work in Thorne Hall. Two additional employees were identified through contact tracing as having been in close contact with the second individual who tested positive.

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Counseling Services

Coronavirus and counseling: how the pandemic has left one of the College’s most crucial resources vulnerable

Editor’s Note 11/20/20 at 10:42 a.m.: This article has been updated for accuracy.  In a period of stress and uncertainty that has contributed to increasing mental health issues in college-aged adults, Bowdoin’s mental health care, which students can access without paying any extra in tuition and fees, is as important as ever.

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Campus

On-campus students depart early as COVID-19 cases rise at the College and in Maine

As COVID-19 cases surge nation-wide, the Bowdoin community has not been immune. Confronting rising cases of the virus on campus, the administration and on-campus students are evaluating steps forward as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. In a Microsoft Teams interview with the Orient, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen said that he was not surprised about the recent positive cases on campus.

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Campus

Students understanding, but frustrated, with campus rules change

Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout Maine, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced on Friday, November 6 that students would no longer be permitted to leave campus for any reason, effective Saturday, November 7. While many on-campus students said they understood the reasons for this decision, the change was still met with disappointment.

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