COVID-19 Housing and Return Information

This page will share important housing and arrival information for winter 2021. While not exhaustive, we hope this page will answer some of your housing and arrival questions. Complete information about the college’s strategy and approach toward reopening is available on the Covid-19 Information site.

What to Know Before You Arrive

  • All students who arrive on campus will undergo screening and testing. Residence access will not be granted until this is complete. Results of campus testing will follow the college’s policies and protocols for Isolation and Contact Tracing.
  • Everyone moving in needs to follow the college’s universal face covering policy.
  • Families, guardians, and parents will not be allowed into campus buildings. Only those individuals with access can enter the buildings.
    • Given continued limitations in access to testing and vaccines, a negative COVID test or vaccination will not be grounds for an exception to visitor policies. 
    • Any accompanying family members must comply with Maine CDC requirements to enter the state. Read the latest requirements here, and FAQs here.
    • Public restrooms will be available for family members in Gomes Chapel, Chase Hall, the Benjamin Mays Center, and the Ronj in Ross House. Click here to view the campus map.
  • All students should begin minimizing their contacts, increasing physical distancing, and closing their at-home social circles 14 days prior to arrival.
  • If students can access a COVID-19 test at your current location, we strongly encourage you to get tested within 72 hours of your arrival.
  • All students are required to self-screen for COVID-19 by answering these five questions before traveling to Bates. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, please postpone your travel plans and contact your primary care physician prior to traveling to Bates.
    • Are you experiencing any severe muscle aches or pains with a cough and/or chills?
    • Are you experiencing a new lack/loss of smell?
    • In the last 14 days, have you had direct, prolonged contact with someone you know who is COVID-19 positive?
    • Are you experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
    • Is your temperature 100.4 or greater?

Traveling to Bates

We strongly encourage that students plan their travels to minimize the total travel time between their home and Bates. While traveling, put into action all that you have learned over the last few months about keeping yourself safe. Some general ideas to prompt your thinking include: 

  • Wear your face mask at all times
  • If possible, always sit at least 6 feet away from others 
  • Frequently wash or sanitize your hands 
  • Avoid contacting high-touch surfaces
  • Consider bringing your own hand sanitizer and/or cleaning wipes if available
  • Drink and eat prior to getting on public transportation to avoid having to take your mask off while in public 
  • If you are driving, keep abreast of changing travel guidelines for any states where you may need to stay overnight.

If you are traveling by bus or plane, shuttle buses to Bates will be available from the Portland Transportation Center and the Portland Jetport. Tickets are free, but you must reserve a seat. Shuttles leave at the following times:

Leave Portland Transportation CenterLeave Portland JetportArrive at Bates
10:00 AM10:15 PM11:05 AM
2:00 PM2:15 PM3:05 PM
4:15 PM4:30 PM5:20 PM
6:15 PM6:30 PM7:20 PM
7:00 PM7:15 PM8:05 PM

Arrival Information for All Students

Arrival for the winter 2021 semester will occur on Feb 11 and 12. The testing center will be open from 10:30am – 8:30pm during arrival.

Students will need to return to campus during designated times. Once you know your travel plans, follow the instructions below to sign up for a time. If your plans change and you need to change your time, you can log into the system at any time until midnight on Feb 9 to switch your selection.

Once your travel plans are confirmed, please use this process to sign up for your arrival time:

  1. Log into the Garnet Gateway.
  2. Under your to-do menu click on “Bates Campus Arrival and Testing”.
  3. From the list, find the time that best meets your needs and click “sign-up”.
  4. Your registration will be confirmed on the right of your screen under the “My Registered Events” section.

Upon arrival to campus, you will be welcomed, tested, and given access to your housing assignment. Once these tasks are completed, you will arrive at your residence hall and begin quarantine. 

It is essential that you arrive on campus at your designated day and time. This will ensure you are able to participate in required testing ahead of receiving access to your residence hall. Students must participate in testing immediately upon arriving on campus. Students who have not been tested will not be allowed access to residence halls.

Residence Access

Students will gain access to their residences only after the completion of their first COVID-19 test. All ID cards will be activated at the Underhill Testing Center during the testing process. 

In accordance with existing building-use policies, all exterior doors to campus buildings will continue to be locked. Campus community members are reminded to travel with their ID at all times.

Off-campus guests (friends, siblings, etc.) are not allowed in residence halls or inside other campus buildings. Parents with a compelling need to access an indoor space must contact three business days in advance for pre-approval. 

The difficulties associated with managing transmission risk and maintaining enhanced sanitation practices across large numbers of users requires Bates to close all residential kitchens for winter semester 2021. These spaces present the potential for creating a high-risk environment.

  • Stoves will be turned off.
  • Refrigerators and microwaves will remain plugged in. 
  • Sinks will be available to support sanitation practices.

Campus Life Activities and Policy for Performances

The Office of Campus Life is planning to offer in-person, virtual, and hybrid student programs and late-night social events this fall.

Clear and standard practices have been established.

While large-scale social events will not be possible this semester, we will be working with student clubs, organizations, and campus partners in providing ample opportunities for student engagement that reflect the diverse interests of our students, and that capture some of the traditions that students have come to know and love.

Student Travel Policy

During the arrival period prior to the first day of classes on Feb 17, students are not permitted to leave campus until they receive 2 negative test results. As with last fall, students are expected to follow all guidance about off-campus travel within the Lewiston-Auburn community. Students in off-campus housing should remain in their residences and not travel to campus or around the Lewiston-Auburn area.

For the duration of the winter 2021 semester, students are not permitted to leave the state of Maine from arrival on campus through the end of the semester in May.

Exceptions to this policy (e.g., medical needs or bereavement) can be requested by contacting Senior Associate Dean of Students Carl Steidel (

Intent to Return Survey

If your plans have changed and you intend to study remotely this semester, please contact Faith Hauger at to update your student status as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

I was a remote student last semester; how do I get access to my room?

  • Upon arrival, students who were not on campus in the fall will proceed from the testing center into Merrill, where they will be given their room key and access to their residence building will be turned on.

I cannot arrive on campus during the arrival time slots. What should I do?

  • If at all possible, students should make every effort to arrive during testing center hours on Feb 11-12. We understand that for some students, flight times or other travel restrictions will make this impossible. Similar to the fall semester, we have a petition process for students who are facing considerable challenges to arriving on campus during testing center hours.
    • If you can arrive on Feb 11 or 12 but outside of testing center hours (like a flight that gets in late), fill out the After Hours Petition.
    • If you cannot arrive on Feb 11 or 12, fill out the Early Arrival Petition or Late Arrival Petition. Please note, you should only fill out the Late Arrival Petition if you are arriving in Lewiston on Feb 13th. If you are arriving late on the 12th and need temporary housing for the night, please fill out the After Hours Petition.