Bates College students hang out in the quad at the Lewiston college Friday afternoon. The school will require anyone on campus to wear a mask and exercise social distancing at all times whether a student, faculty or guest. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Bates reported another large batch of tests on its students Monday without finding another case of COVID-19.

It has had 2,814 tests in the past week with a single positive case, part of a trend across the New England Small College Athletic Conference, which includes Bates.

The league has seen a paltry number of positive cases among returning students, so far.

In the past few days, the results of more than 10,000 tests on returning students turned up seven positive cases, including the one at Bates last week.

Bowdoin College in Brunswick, too, has reported only a single case, from a first-year student who learned of the positive test while traveling to Brunswick.

The student skipped the initial test on campus and “went directly to the college facility set aside for isolation,” Mike Ranen, Bowdoin’s COVID-19 Resource Coordinator, told the college community in post on the college’s website.


That student “will remain in isolation in a private room with a private bathroom until cleared to return to their original residence hall by Bowdoin’s Health Services,” Ranen said.

Bowdoin said the student, who had no contact with anyone before going into isolation, set “a great example for the rest of us in modeling the best practices for protecting the health and safety of the Bowdoin and Brunswick communities.”

Bates tested every student on arrival in Lewiston and required them to stay in their dorm room until they got the results back. It is testing each of them twice weekly to try to contain any outbreaks.

It has also had 348 tests of college staff in the past week. None tested positive.

The Bates Student, the college’s newspaper, reported that Josh McIntosh, vice president for campus life, told students recently that Bates could strongly consider closing or quarantining its grounds if it reached a 3% infection rate, or about 50 students testing positive.

McIntosh said during a question and answer session online, the paper said, that a 2% infection rate would be a strong concern for the college, which hasn’t set a firm threshold for when it would take major steps.

Bates closed its campus in mid-March when the disease initially began spreading widely across the country. At the time, two of its staff members tested positive for COVID-19. Both recovered.

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