Feb. 8: Important Update Regarding Arrival Quarantine

Dear Students,

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus later this week. I write with just a few reminders and one significant update regarding your arrival quarantine.

Arrival Quarantine Extended

As other colleges and universities have welcomed students back to campus, we have been able to learn from their experiences, including how peer colleges are seeing students test positive for COVID-19 upon their return to campus. Given increased COVID transmission and the fact that most activities have moved indoors, we expect that our start this semester will be more challenging than our start this past fall. Once again, I am asking for your cooperation.

We had planned to allow students to discontinue their arrival quarantine after the results of their first PCR test (Thursday, Feb. 11, or Friday, Feb. 12). However, given transmission rates and public health guidance, we are now:

  • Extending the arrival quarantine period until all students receive results from your second PCR test, which you take Sunday, Feb. 14, or Monday, Feb. 15. This means your arrival quarantine will last until the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 16.

You will receive an email from me when the arrival quarantine period has ended. We anticipate this to be 9 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 16 — but this timing may be extended based on delays in PCR test results from Broad Institute.

We know this change is inconvenient, but we are doing everything we can to increase the likelihood that students will be able to begin attending classes in person on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Longer Arrival Quarantine Means Vigilance

With arrival quarantine extending over several days, please be fully aware of the protocols:

When in your residence
  • You should stay in your room except to use the bathroom or to leave the building.
  • You may not go to a different floor in your building.
  • You may not go into any other student’s room.
  • You may not use common rooms — they are closed.
  • Please try to limit the number of people in the bathroom at the same time. Please remember that face coverings must be worn on your way to and from the bathroom.
When you are eating
  • You may be in your room or outside.
  • You may not eat in any other building.
  • You must remain physically distanced from others.
When you leave your residence
  • You may enter dining areas to pick up meals. (Students living at the Hampton Inn will have meal delivery through dinner on Tues., Feb. 16. You will receive an email with details on accessing these additional meals.)
  • You may enter the Testing Center, Bates Health Services, and Post & Print when they are open.
  • You may not enter any other college buildings.
  • You may spend as much time outside on campus as you like, provided you wear a face covering, remain physically distanced, and limit your group to three students.
  • You may not leave campus if you live on campus.
  • You must stay in your rental units (if living off campus) or your permanent home (if commuting). Students may only leave their rental unit / home to come to campus to be tested, pick-up Dash meals or go to Bates Health Services. You may not have other students or guests visit your off-campus unit.

Students who choose not to follow arrival quarantine protocols are in violation of the public health agreement and will be subject to being removed from campus housing and be required to return to their home to continue the semester via remote learning.

For repeated or egregious violations, students may be referred to the Student Conduct Committee where a minimum one-semester suspension will be the likely outcome. The arrival of students to campus from all over the country and world is a challenging and vulnerable time, and it is important that we all do our part to mitigate the risk of transmission. For questions about arrival quarantine, please contact Assistant Dean of Students Blake Reilly (breilly3@bates.edu).

Final Reminders About Coming to Campus

Symptom screen and testing 72-hours prior to arrival information survey

Earlier today you should have received an email about completing the pre-arrival information survey that will ask you about your current symptoms or whether you recently completed a COVID-19 test. You must complete this survey within 72-hours of arriving on campus.

If you test positive for COVID-19 in the next few days or if you tested positive over break

If you tested positive with COVID-19 over the break, please email Bates Health Services (healthservices@bates.edu) with documentation of your positive test result. A Bates Health Services medical provider will then review this information and be in contact with you about next steps. It’s important that you email this information as soon as possible, so the Bates Health Services team can support you in your transition back to campus.

If you test positive for COVID-19 within 10 days prior to your arrival

If you test positive for COVID-19 within 10 days prior to your arrival, please be in contact with your primary care physician for medical care and advice. Please do not return to campus until you are cleared from isolation by your primary care provider, which should be a minimum of 10 days from test collection. Also, please email (healthservices@bates.edu) with documentation of your positive test result. A Bates Health Services medical provider will then review this information and be in contact with you about next steps. It’s important that you email this information as soon as possible, so the Bates Health Services team can support you in your transition back to campus.

If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

If you have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed as positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of your arrival, please follow all local CDC guidance. Please do not return to campus until you are cleared from close contact quarantine by your local CDC, which should be a minimum of seven days from exposure to the positive individual. Also, please email the Testing Center (testingcenter@bates.edu) to notify them of your quarantine. It’s important that you email this information as soon as possible, so the Testing Center team can support you in your transition back to campus.

Module D lab courses and No Class Days

To ensure that all students enrolled in courses with lab sections stay on track with lectures and labs each week, the No Class Days in Module D (April 20, April 28, and May 6) may fall on different days for those courses.

Switching to remote learning

We understand that the continued uncertainty and complexity associated with the winter semester may lead to students to prefer to study remotely rather than return to campus. If you would like to switch to remote learning for the winter semester, you may do so until Wednesday, Feb. 10. Please email studentaffairs@bates.edu to make this adjustment.

Where to Direct Questions

If you have any questions and are not quite sure to whom you should direct your question, please send your inquiry to studentaffairs@bates.edu and we will be sure to connect you to the person best situated to assist you.

Again, we look forward to welcoming you back to campus, and, with your cooperation, I am optimistic that we will have a successful semester.

All my best,

Joshua McIntosh

Vice President for Campus Life