This academic year has been defined by the measures taken by the Bowdoin community to protect against COVID-19, and the cornerstone of the College’s plan to prevent an outbreak on campus has been a robust testing program.
Last semester, the College offered free COVID-19 testing to all students living off campus in the Brunswick area. The program was established in partnership with Mid Coast Hospital to help keep Brunswick safe, recognizing that off-campus students would interact with the greater community at grocery stores and other essential businesses.
A College employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced in an email to the community this afternoon. The employee is on campus infrequently and was found to have been in close contact with one other employee, who is now quarantining at home.
As Bowdoin’s most important mechanism for tracking campus coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, Bowdoin Health Services has taken on a more prominent role in campus life as they work to manage routine testing, conduct symptom evaluations and provide regular medical care to students and College employees.
Over the weekend, the College welcomed back 1013 on-campus students and 64 students who are living off campus but have on-campus privileges. This meant the launch of Bowdoin’s second semester of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing protocols—this time with a significantly greater volume of tests to process each week.
A student living off campus in Brunswick tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday, Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs Janet Lohmann said during a town hall with off-campus students on Sunday. “We became aware of this on Friday because the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] (CDC) contacted us,” said Lohmann.
The first week of the semester saw the rollout of the College’s ambitious testing program for the fall. The plan dictates that students must be tested three times a week—Monday, Wednesday and Friday—for the first two weeks of the semester, and then twice a week—with one group tested on Mondays and Thursdays and the other tested on Tuesdays and Fridays—until campus closes before Thanksgiving break.
One student has tested positive for COVID-19 after results from tests administered on Wednesday were released to students and the College community early Thursday morning. According to an email sent to the Bowdoin community from COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen, this is the first positive case identified through the College’s testing program in partnership with the Broad Institute.