COVID-19 and Teaching, Fall 2022

Bates College policies and practices on COVID-19 have been articulated and updated with an institutional focus here and with an employee focus here, and those announcements remain definitive sources of information. However, some faculty have wanted more explicit guidance with respect to the current teaching implications of COVID. We provide that guidance here.


  • The College is not maintaining a public dashboard of COVID positivity as it has in the past two years, but Bates Health Services is tracking COVID cases as it would any other illness patterns on campus.
  • If any of your students test positive for COVID, you will be notified via a generic illness flag from Bates Reach.


  • If a student believes they have COVID, they should go to Bates Health Services to get tested. Brenna Callahan is the Student Health Support and Outreach Specialist, and she can assist with accessing medical care, resources on campus, care coordination, health insurance, and managing the medical needs of our students.
  • The isolation period for COVID-positive individuals is now usually 5 days as recommended by the CDC. Students can isolate in their own rooms this year, rather than in specialized isolation housing.


  • Faculty have the discretion to require masks in teaching-related spaces, including but not limited to classrooms, research labs, music and theater performances, field trips, and office hours.  This can be conveyed verbally or in writing (e.g., in a syllabus or on Lyceum). If a student fails to follow the faculty member’s requirement for masking, the student should be referred to the Office of Community Standards (as would be the case for other violations of accepted norms of participation in our classrooms). 
  • We are operating under our pre-covid absence policy. As with any other illness, if a student tests positive for COVID (or suspects they have COVID) and cannot attend class, faculty determine the best way for the student to make up any missed classes. Faculty are not obligated to offer Zoom/hybrid participation for an ill student, though they are welcome to offer that if they wish. 
  • If a faculty member contracts COVID but feels well enough to teach while isolating, they may choose to teach remotely during that isolation period if that meets their goals for the course. We ask that faculty inform the Dean of Faculty’s office of this shift in pedagogical delivery, so we can support them in their work.