August 17, 2020 Parent Information Session

We encourage you to watch this parent/family forum in its entirety to hear all panelists and their live answers to questions. Remember that the information on this page was current as of August 17, 2020, and may have changed since then. For the most current information, visit our main parent page or the Fall 2020 website.

Written Questions & Answers


What percentage of professors and classes will be remote? Do you expect that percentage to increase?

All courses will be available remotely to accommodate students who can’t return to campus or are electing to study remotely. Approximately 25% of courses are planned to be offered remotely by the faculty. We are hoping that if the fall goes smoothly with safety protocols, that will reduce for module B.


By inviting students to campus without pre-tests, you could infect entire pods/dorm floors. will they all be moved to quarantine? Shouldn’t it be strongly suggested that students be tested before arrival?

The testing is wildly inconsistent across the country. Not all states will do asymptomatic testing. We do strongly suggest students get a test if they are able prior to arrival. We also want students to symptom checks prior to arrival and closing circles at home.

For a student traveling solo to Maine, when in the process between bus arrival, testing and quarantine do you want them to collect their bedding shipped to Post and Print?

Post and Print will be available for essential item pick up from 4-8PM on arrival days.

Why do they need to pack light? Are they going to have to take everything home at the November break? Can you explain more about what packing light really means? 

Packing light means that if for some reason the college has to close, they can easily and quickly pack their room to be evacuated within 24 hours of closure.

If my student gets tested before coming to campus and brings a negative test result, will this mean she will not have to quarantine?

No, all students will follow all protocols. We know that not all available tests are the same. We will test every student upon arrival and expect them to quarantine. Pre-testing to campus helps us to limit students arriving on campus ill.

If a student is in a house, will there be a mover to help move her in?

Movers will be spread out across campus.


For students who have big appetites, are they limited in how much food they can get with Dash? 

Lots of questions about this! Dining will make sure students have access to plenty of food and are not restricted to a certain size portion.

Dorm life

Will students be able to leave their belongings at Bates when they return home in November?

Yes, they can leave belongings. If we would ever have to evacuate the college, however, students should plan to take all their belongings.

Hampton Inn students

Do the students who will be living at the Hampton Inn also come to Merrill/ Underhill for check in and to get keys etc?

Yes! All students need to be tested and checked in before arriving at the Hampton Inn. Thanks!

You have assigned my student to live in a hotel.  Where will he be able to eat on campus, if all food is pickup and he has no dorm room?  Similarly, where can he wait on campus between classes? 

We agree that outdoors is not sustainable!  We are working to identify an on campus space for these students. The specific location will be shared as soon as plans are completely finalized.

Will students be able to visit their friends in other dorms? Will students living on campus be able to visit their friends who are staying in the Hampton Inn?

They can meet in the lobby, but we do not want students in each other’s rooms. We know this is a space where they do not mask, similar to home.  We want to limit the risk of transmission.

Will the Hampton Inn be exclusively Bates students in the entire building?

Bates students are living on floors that are being used exclusively by the college.


When you say anyone who spends 15 minutes within 6 feet, you mean indoors without a mask, correct?

A close contact as defined by the CDC is someone who spends 15 minutes within 6 feet of another person masked or unmasked, inside or outside.


For residents of Bates campus Houses, will they be able to use the kitchens? 

Refrigerators and microwaves will be available. Stoves will be closed to address concerns about clean up and hygiene in shared kitchen spaces.


Where exactly is the isolation space located for those who test positive?

We have many isolation beds on campus. These are in Bates overflow apartments and houses.

How many isolation rooms does Bates have available?

We are planning for the high end of 5% planning that Dean McIntosh mentioned.

Do students need to have a special bag packed in case they need to move to isolation assuming they will not be able to head back to their room to pack up?

They should pack a “go bag” that they can take to isolation with clothes, toothbrush, books, etc.  We will help them get their books and computer to isolation, if necessary

Do isolation rooms have their own bathrooms?

They are small houses and apartments on campus.  The bathroom to student ratio will be very low, in most instances 1 to 1.

If a student tests positive but is asymptomatic are they isolated or quarantined?

All students who test positive with a new case of COVID-19 will be moved to isolation housing.

Masks/face coverings

Is Bates providing any masks for students?  If so, what type, and how many?

Bates will provide two masks at check in. 

When students are being tested in the testing center, will all be required to wear masks?

Yes, masks are required in all public areas of campus.

A panelist mentioned the importance of students wearing clean masks. Will students receive guidance/advice on how many masks to bring to campus, what type of masks are acceptable, and how often to wash their masks?

This answer depends on how often your student does laundry! Students should plan to bring enough masks to wear a clean mask each day. Masks should not include exhalation valves or vents.

Do students need to wear a mask in their dorm room when their roommate is present?

Students need to wear masks in hallways and bathrooms. All shared spaces. We do not require masks in their rooms, similar to at home. They will need to navigate this discussion within their own individual spaces with roommates.

Are there specific TYPES of masks you want students to bring with them? Will they be able to purchase masks at Bates?

Students can bring whatever type of mask is most comfortable to them as long as they do not include external vents or exhalation valves.

Student Life

Will the gym and other exercise facilities be open?

Yes, we will be updating exercise facilities to the State of Maine Guidelines and there will be a new registration process for equipment and spaces.  More information can be found on the website

Could you describe what they will be able to do for fun and specifically for extracurriculars creatively making use of outdoor space exp in the fall?  They are hearing so much about the ‘rules’ that it would be great to hear more about fun.

Yes, this is a great question. The Office of Campus Life and other campus partners are prepared to support social programming and events this fall. We plan to utilize outdoor spaces on campus for in-person gatherings as much as possible. Student clubs, organization and event programmers are planning to also offer virtual and hybrid programs. Events and programs may include live musical performances, movies, Bingo, trival, art activities, and health and wellness opportunities. Student club leaders are often the ones driving events that reflect our diverse student interests such as gaming, knitting, dance, etc. We have more than 80 active clubs and they have lots of ideas for student engagement.

What options for socializing between kids in different dorms or students in dorms and hotels will you provide?

The Office of Campus Life and other campus partners will be offering opportunities for smaller scale in -person programming and events throughout the semester as well as virtual and hybrid options. This will include student and professional performances and activities, student club engagement that reflect the diverse students interests. We always encourage student leadership in these spaces and we are prepared to support their creative ideas.


What is the accuracy of the Broad testing?

The test from the Broad is regarded as a high performing test, which is further supported by our testing strategy. The clinical sensitivity has been measured at 95%, which is on par with other tests available. False positives have been reported at .02%. More information about the test can be found at 

I know you have the materials but what about delays that have been reported on returning results?

Thank you for the question. The Broad has continued to report to us that they have and continue to scale up their ability to process and return test results in the 24-48 hours. They have yet to report any delays in test response time.