August 3, 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. Scroll down this page to find answers that were provided in writing via the webinar chat. Remember that the information on this page was current as of August 3, 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


If a student has to quarantine, will they be able to zoom their classes for those 10-14 days?

Absolutely!  All faculty have created and are working to create a remote option for their classes.

If a student tests positive, but is asymptomatic (feeling well), will they still be able to take classes online?

Absolutely! All faculty members are preparing remote components to their courses to attend to this need.

How will teachers handle hybrid class (in person + remote)?

Professors are managing classes on a case-by-case basis, and many are taking the approach of a flipped classroom – classroom and group discussions in-person, lectures done remotely.

What changes are being made to classrooms being used for in-person instruction? I realize masks will be required. Are students sitting 6 feet apart? Are partitions being erected in the space? You mention tents will be used. Can you elaborate on this?

Thanks for the question!  Masks are required, students are spaced out at least 6 feet apart, and classes are happening fewer at one time in order to reduce traffic flow in hallways.


How will food be delivered during quarantine?

For students in isolation because they tested positive for COVID-19, meals will be delivered to isolation housing locations.

Can students notify someone about dietary restrictions for food during quarantine?

For students in isolation, yes, but meal options will be limited.


Do you know of any specific Covid protocols for Maine Specifically that will have any affect on how the move in will happen?  I heard that there must be quarantines or negative covid tests for visitors to Maine otherwise fines may be given.

As of July 3, the state of Maine requires individuals entering the state either (1) demonstrate proof of testing negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arrival or (2) complete a 14-day quarantine. (Vermont and New Hampshire Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York residents are currently exempt from this state order.)

Arriving students will meet this state guidance by being tested upon arrival at Bates and beginning a campus quarantine.

Family and others who must accompany their student to campus should plan to either comply with state order or depart campus immediately after dropping their student off. 

If a student is tested before arrival do they need to be quarantined?

Getting a test 72 hours prior to arrival is a great strategy to reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission to campus.  Students who have taken this step will still need to get tested and quarantine upon arrival pending the results of their test.

Some colleges have required students to document a negative test result within 2 weeks before returning. Why hasn’t Bates done this?

For many of our students, they are not able to get a test completed in their community. Testing availability remains a challenge in many parts of the country.

Can students come home during the semester?

Students may not leave the state of Maine from arrival until departure just before Thanksgiving.

When students arrive and when they are waiting for results of their test will they be isolated? How will they be fed?

Students will quarantine in their room assignments.  They will follow the arrival quarantine protocol, which includes grab and go meals.


Can you please explain what happens if a student develops Covid or Flu symptoms? Will they be tested by Bates Health Services or sent off campus for testing? If so where will they be sent and will parents be notified?

All students who are ill and have symptoms will be directed to the Health Services and a medical provider will make the determination individually on what care and testing is appropriate.

Will Bates offer seasonal flu shots in the fall or will students need to find a local provider for flu shots?

Bates will be running multiple flu clinics here on campus this fall.  Tell your student to stay tuned for dates!

Will costs associated with isolation be covered by Bates?

Isolation is part of our care for students.  If a student requires elevated medical care this will go through student insurance.

Could you explain further on the treatment taken in the event that a student gets tested positive? In the website, it only mentions that “check ups” will be made, but no explanations on the kind of treatment being taken.

Medical treatments will be directed by the providers at Health Services and be tailored to the individual’s illness presentation.

If a student tests positive for Covid do they have to quarantine at school? Could they leave campus for the two weeks and quarantine at home?

Once a student is in isolation, they will be monitored daily by BHS/CMMC medical staff. These clinical evaluations will be used, under the guidance of the Medical Director, to make determinations about care.  Parents may not retrieve an ill student from campus per guidance from CDC on travel.  

If our student gets COVID, will they be provided medicine (mucinex, sudafed, cough drops, antibiotics as necessary) or should we plan to send them with enough medicine to get them through a covid type illness.  What type of care will they receive if they are sick with Covid and stuck on campus?

The clinical team at BHS, under the direction of the Medical Director, will monitor symptoms and determine what care is necessary based on their clinical judgement, and hospital procedures and protocols. We are fortunate to have two hospitals, both within 1 mile of campus.  We also have illness care kits available at Bates Health Services. Thermometers, cough medicine, fever reducers, etc.

Will overall positive tests, isolations and quarantine numbers be reported to the community? Transparency is important for the students’ and families’ peace of mind and understanding of the situation. How will these numbers be reported, and how often will they be updated?

We are developing a metrics dashboard that will be shared with students, faculty, staff, and families. It will track data in Maine-and at Bates. We are planning to update the dashboard each week.

How did Bates come to the decision to ask students to sign a liability release to students?

We wanted students to fully understand our collective responsibilities. This was done in the form of a public health agreement and acknowledgement of shared risk. It is not a liability waiver. You can learn more here.

Will students be allowed to leave campus, and if so…why?

While students must not leave the state of Maine, they may leave campus as some of them will have medical appointments, need access to a pharmacy for medication and personal goods, and need access to a grocery store. Students are expected to follow the public health practices whether on campus or off campus.

If a student is living off campus, are they provided the same isolation housing if needed?


I am worried student mental health in a such restricted campus life

I understand your concern. Our student support team, including Student Support Advisors and Counseling and Psychological Services staff, are prepared to help students who may struggle with mental health.

How can you assure that you will have enough tests and timely results?

The Broad Institute has designed their test by using easily sourced materials, beyond that they have stockpiled testing materials and have already begun to send high volumes of tests.  The Broad has also scaled up and will continue to scale up their ability to run 100k tests per day.  This has afforded them the ability to provide results to us in 36-48 hours.