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New Report Details Changes Maine Colleges May Have To Make To Open In The Fall

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Robert F. Bukaty
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AP Images
The Bowdoin College campus is nearly empty during spring break, Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Brunswick, Maine.

Maine colleges and universities have adopted guidelines that will consider class sizes, quarantines and social distancing in public areas such as dining halls as they consider how to reopen their campuses in the fall.

Higher education leaders from around the state released a report Thursday outlining their considerations, which may also include varying when student groups return to campus and working with partners on widespread screening and testing. The report also calls for adjustments to the state’s 14-day quarantine rule for students and families who may be coming from out-of-state.

“That is just a tremendous challenge for students, and for their parents to come and go through the traditional dropping them off to campus. And for students to lose two weeks of summer wages is a real challenge,” says Husson University President Robert Clark.

Clark says his college is working with campus health professionals and local hospitals to create a safe environment, and prepare to respond to any cases of COVID-19 on campus should they occur.

University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy says colleges are hoping to collaborate with state and local agencies on solutions to the schools’ questions.

“Our request is that we be looked at as partners to work with state government, to come to that sort of judgment,” he says.

Malloy says he’s hoping to receive more direction on those issues from the state by next month in order to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Correction: Husson is a university, not a college.