Bates College students gather Tuesday for lunch on Garcelon Field after a lockdown was lifted at the Lewiston campus. Andree Kehn

LEWISTON — With COVID-19 cases under control again, Bates College lifted its 12-day lockdown Tuesday morning.

“We are confident that we have contained the outbreak that began with social gatherings” during the last weekend of March, said Joshua McIntosh, vice president for campus life.

McIntosh told students the school was immediately “lifting the in-room restriction” it imposed April 1 to thwart the spread of the coronavirus. In-person classes and activities will resume Wednesday, he said.

“The events we have all endured should serve as a powerful reminder that poor choices by a small group of people can have a powerful negative impact on the campus as a whole,” McIntosh said.

The college still has 38 students who tested positive in isolation housing, half the number it had at the peak of the outbreak. It had three students test positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

Bates President Clayton Spencer thanked “students, faculty, and staff who came together to get us through the COVID-19 outbreak successfully.


On her Twitter account, Spencer said, “Thanks to your efforts, in-room restrictions are lifted and in-person classes and activities may resume tomorrow. Now let’s finish the semester safe and strong!”

McIntosh said that with six weeks left in the semester, students need to follow health guidelines for masking and social distancing to keep the college community together through commencement in May.

“This is not a moment to let down your guard and revert to the practices, like unmasked gatherings, that led to the recent outbreak,” he said.

“With the growing presence in Maine of highly transmissible variants of COVID-19, even small lapses in public health behaviors, whether on campus or off campus, could land the campus back where we’ve been over the past two weeks, which is not an outcome any of us wants,” McIntosh said.

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