Bar Harbor's College of the Atlantic has announced that it will be testing at least one-fifth of its student body every week for COVID-19 as part of an effort to resume in-person classes this fall.
The college announced earlier this week that it will test every student at the school twice as they return for the beginning of the semester, and then test a sample of students every week in an attempt to monitor for any spread of COVID-19 on campus.
COA President Darron Collins says he feels the school is already well-positioned, being in a rural area of a state that has relatively few cases. But he says the regular testing, along with other changes, like social distancing and reduced building capacity, can ensure campus will stay safe.
“In addition to all the other safety protocols we have in place, gives us the confidence that we can do this in a really safe and exciting and successful way in the fall,” Collins says.
Collins says he is confident that students will follow the new rules come fall.
“That means they're going to follow a certain set of guidelines and behavioral strategies that we're agreeing to as a community to keep the number of COVID cases down.”
Other colleges in the state, such as Colby in Waterville, have announced similar regular testing plans for in-person classes in the fall semester. Last month, the University of Maine System announced plans to test thousands of students on its campuses. And Unity College has announced that it will move completely online for the fall, while Brunswick's Bowdoin College will only bring back certain students and teach the rest online.