Masks will be required regardless of vaccination status inside Bowdoin College facilities beginning on Tuesday, according to an announcement from the college president on Monday.

The mask mandate applies to all members of the campus community as well as visitors. Masks are not required outdoors.

Bowdoin College President Clayton Rose stated that the college will revisit the requirement and hopes to lift it for vaccinated individuals on Saturday, Sept. 4, if testing protocol confirms low levels of infection.

“This is a precautionary measure given the persistently high rates of infection in many places around the country, and because we have students—and some faculty and staff—traveling through airports and arriving from many locations,” Rose wrote.

Three exception were outlined in the announcement: face coverings will not be required indoors for those who are actively eating on campus, for students inside their own residence halls and for faculty and staff in their own offices.

“It is likely that SARS-COV-2 will be with us for some time, and so we will need to learn how to manage it, both to protect the health and safety of our community and to operate in ways that are as close to normal as possible,” Rose wrote.

In the college’s testing protocol, 50 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported since March of 2020. According to Bowdoin College Director of College and Media Relations Doug Cook, there have been three confirmed positive cases over the summer, which includes the Class of 2020 commencement in which an estimated 1,600 people attended.

According to the Maine CDC, 70.44% of Maine residents have received a final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As of Monday, the CDC estimates that 99% of eligible Brunswick residents are vaccinated.

As of Monday, 73,659 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in total statewide, alongside 924 deaths. In Cumberland County, 18,053 have been reported, with 209 deaths.

 

This story was updated at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24 to clarify the total number of COVID-19 cases detected by Bowdoin College’s testing protocol. The college has recorded 50 cases of COVID-19  since March 2020. 

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