Confirmed Case of COVID-19

Dear Members of the Bates Community:

I write to inform you that a member of our community has tested positive for COVID-19. This individual has been at home in self-isolation for a number of days while receiving the necessary care to treat their condition.

It is our duty to safeguard the privacy of this individual so that they can receive treatment and focus on their health. To that end, I would ask that you respect their privacy and avoid sharing information informally.

We became aware of this case today, and immediately contacted the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Medical Director at Bates Health Services to make sure that we understand the steps we need to take to protect the health and safety of the Bates community. In addition to making this public announcement, we have been provided with a list of individuals who were in contact with the person who tested positive during the relevant time period. We are in the process of notifying these individuals and providing specific CDC guidance on the steps they should take, depending on the nature and extent of the contact they had.

This news reinforces the need for all of us to follow CDC directives, practice social distancing, and observe other preventive steps, including:

  • Avoid physical contact (handshakes, hugs, kisses hello, etc.)
  • Maintain physical distance between yourself and others
  • Wash your hands frequently (especially after being around others)
  • Avoid passing shared communal objects between people
  • Do not share food or beverages

For the individuals who remain on our campus, please be mindful of your health, familiarize yourself with the symptoms of COVID-19, and stay home if you feel ill. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and other symptoms, the CDC asks that you contact your healthcare provider by telephone for medical advice.

I recognize that COVID-19 is exerting significant stress on all of us. For students, Carl Steidel, Senior Associate Dean of Students, is available to support you and connect you to campus resources. For faculty and staff experiencing difficulties in any area of their lives, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free service for all Bates employees and their dependents. You can reach EAP at (888) 238-6232 or online. The EAP site has a webinar with information on how to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 as well as a list of resources for information on coping with COVID-19 fears.

The dimensions of this crisis continue to unfold, and it is easy to be overwhelmed by anxiety and uncertainty. Yet we are, quite literally, all in this together, and every day bears witness to remarkable acts of courage, generosity, and kindness by members of this community, one to another. So please take seriously the advice and practices designed to protect your health and safety, and we will continue to keep you apprised of any pertinent developments.

Sincerely, Clayton