Bowdoin offers COVID-19 testing facility for students

Students are returning to colleges across Maine for in-class learning this semester. School staffs are making sure students are safe.A fraction of students are being welcomed back to Bowdoin College in Brunswick. While many are still learning remotely this year, the school is making sure students are all tested and cleared for COVID-19 before they get to town. The school has transformed their gymnasium into a testing site. On-campus students will be tested twice a week, faculty and staff once a week. The tests are observed, self-administered nasal tests. The school administration says this is safer for everyone involved. “We don’t need to burn through our PPE for a staff member to obtain a sample, if the patient swabs themselves.” said Jeff Maher, Bowdoin’s health services directorBowdoin has an empty residence hall dedicated for students who test positive for COVID-19. There, they can isolate from others and continue learning online through quarantine. Mainly freshmen will return, along with some special cases. Everyone else is learning remotely. Other schools are also testing. At Thomas College in Waterville, more than 80% of all students are returning to campus. The college will be testing everyone every two weeks and more often for athletes.”By frequently testing, we’ll know hopefully in a very short amount of time if someone is asymptomatic before they create community spread.” said Lisa Desautels-Poliquin, the Vice President of Student Affairs.Desautels-Poliquin says everyone is required to sign a pledge in order to remain on campus, agreeing to wear a face mask, socially distance and not have parities.Bowdoin has a similar pledge. Students are only allowed to bring one parent or guardian along on move-in day, but that guest cannot enter the dorm. “Only the students will be able to physically enter the residence halls, and not until they’ve been tested.” said Mike Ranen, Associate Dean of Student Affairs. Bowdoin’s administration says it is important to keep up safety protocol not just for the students, faculty and staff, but for the broader community in Brunswick and surrounding towns.

Students are returning to colleges across Maine for in-class learning this semester. School staffs are making sure students are safe.

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A fraction of students are being welcomed back to Bowdoin College in Brunswick. While many are still learning remotely this year, the school is making sure students are all tested and cleared for COVID-19 before they get to town.

The school has transformed their gymnasium into a testing site. On-campus students will be tested twice a week, faculty and staff once a week. The tests are observed, self-administered nasal tests. The school administration says this is safer for everyone involved.

“We don’t need to burn through our PPE for a staff member to obtain a sample, if the patient swabs themselves.” said Jeff Maher, Bowdoin’s health services director

Bowdoin has an empty residence hall dedicated for students who test positive for COVID-19. There, they can isolate from others and continue learning online through quarantine.

Mainly freshmen will return, along with some special cases. Everyone else is learning remotely.

Other schools are also testing. At Thomas College in Waterville, more than 80% of all students are returning to campus. The college will be testing everyone every two weeks and more often for athletes.

“By frequently testing, we’ll know hopefully in a very short amount of time if someone is asymptomatic before they create community spread.” said Lisa Desautels-Poliquin, the Vice President of Student Affairs.

Desautels-Poliquin says everyone is required to sign a pledge in order to remain on campus, agreeing to wear a face mask, socially distance and not have parities.

Bowdoin has a similar pledge. Students are only allowed to bring one parent or guardian along on move-in day, but that guest cannot enter the dorm.

“Only the students will be able to physically enter the residence halls, and not until they’ve been tested.” said Mike Ranen, Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

Bowdoin’s administration says it is important to keep up safety protocol not just for the students, faculty and staff, but for the broader community in Brunswick and surrounding towns.