COVID-19 Employee Resources

Fall Return to Work FAQs

1. Are some employees still working from home? 
Yes. To decrease the number of employees on campus, employees who have positions that allow them to successfully work from home should continue to do so unless the operational needs of a department dictate otherwise.   

2. Who will determine whether I need to work remotely or return to work on campus? 
Senior officers, department heads, and managers will determine operational needs and what functions/individuals are required to work on campus, when, and to perform which tasks. Permission to work remotely (either fully or partially) for employees who have positions that do not require on-campus work or interactions with students, faculty, or staff will be subject to review and change on an ongoing basis. 

3. As an academic-year employee, when will I be expected to return to work? 
Managers of academic-year employees should have contacted them to advise of their return-to-work date and the dates have varied by department based on operational need.  

4. May employees work overtime? 
No, overtime continues to be prohibited, except for limited exceptions made on a case-by-case basis focused on critical operational needs. Any overtime must be approved in advance by the responsible senior officer and by Tama Spoerri, vice president for human resources.  

5. I have an employee who does not have enough work to meet their scheduled hours and is available to help out in other areas. How do I find out what needs there might be in other areas? 
Human Resources has created a Talent Request and Talent Share database and will be working with department heads to identify staff who have available hours, as well as areas that need additional staff. Contact Brian Robinson or Cassie Christie with questions.  


1. Can employees who are working on campus opt-out of testing? 
No. All employees who are working on campus must participate in the College’s testing program.  

2. Can employees who are working remotely participate in the testing program? 
Only employees who are working on campus and who have been assigned to a testing group may participate in the on-campus testing program. 

3. Do I need to get a second test if I get a positive result from my Broad test? 
The need for a second test to confirm a positive result will be determined by a number of factors specific to the individual whose test it was. For example, an employee who developed symptoms while awaiting test results may not need a confirmatory test, while an employee who is asymptomatic, has been working from home, and has avoided public areas may require one. Any retesting and medical care of the employee will be under the guidance of the employee’s primary care physician and will follow all CDC guidelines.   
4. What is the false-negative rate for the Broad test? 
In studies where the Broad has run a range of clinical samples, the test has shown a very low rate of false positives and negatives.  

5. What is the testing schedule for faculty teaching in person? 
The College is working to make the testing schedule as convenient as possible for faculty and staff and will prioritize the scheduling of tests for faculty teaching first-year writing seminars on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so that the days they teach are also the days they will test. 

6. Is the Bowdoin College Children’s Center (BCCC) open?
BCCC is currently open with operating hours of 8:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m. Enrolled families should visit the Parent Portal for COVID-19 information specific to BCCC.  

7. Will children who attend the Bowdoin College Children’s Center (BCCC) be able to participate in the testing program? 
No, the Broad test is not approved for pediatric testing. BCCC staff will test two times per week. 

8. Do I get paid for the time it takes to be tested?
Hourly staff will be paid for the time it takes to get tested, including if it is not a regularly-scheduled work day.

9. What if I need to change my testing group (A/B, C, D) and/or cohort?
If you need to change your testing group, please contact your Supervisor or Department Head

10. What if I have to miss a testing date (due to absence/illness/vacation/other) or cancel a previously scheduled testing time?
If you need to miss a testing date or cancel a previously scheduled testing time please contact

11. If I have questions regarding COVID-19 testing center procedures, who do I contact?

12. Can I be tested two days in a row?
No, there should be at least forty-eight hours between tests. It is critically important that people do NOT schedule COVID-19 testing on back-to-back days, we must wait until we get the results back from the first weekly test before the second weekly test is administered. If you have a scheduling change, please contact as soon as possible so we can work with you on the appropriate testing days.

13. I've received my test results but they are "invalid," what does that mean?
"Invalid" means there was not enough sample on the swab to be tested. In most cases, this is due to not blowing your nose before testing or not swabbing adequately. In the future, be sure to blow your nose prior to arrival and ensure the swab stays in contact with the lining of your nostrils to limit the possibilities of invalid test results.

14. What should I do if I receive an "invalid" test result?
Contact as soon as possible to schedule a retest.

15. If my colleague has received their test results already, why haven't I?
The test results are released by the Broad Institute on a rolling basis so some results may be received sooner than others. You should expect to receive your test results within twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

16. What if I have to miss a testing date (due to absence/illness/vacation/other) or cancel a previously scheduled testing time?
If you need to miss a testing date or cancel a previously scheduled testing time, you MUST contact to advise the testing center administrators and arrange alternative testing. Failure to follow the cancellation procedures for absences will not be tolerated.  Employees who miss two or more tests on campus will be given a Written Warning. Employees who miss a third test will be removed from the campus testing protocol and will be unable to work on campus until they have received a negative COVID-19 test from an outside provider. In addition, they may receive further disciplinary action.

Flu Shots

1. Will the College be offering flu shots this year?
Due to COVID-19 precautions, the College will not be offering on-campus flu clinics to faculty and staff this year. But getting a flu vaccination is more important than ever to protect yourself and the people around you from the flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit here for local options to receive the vaccination.


1. Will off-campus students be able to participate in the College’s testing program? 
Students who were previously approved to live off campus this fall will be offered a convenient COVID-19 test once a week. Kits will be collected and dropped off at Mid Coast Hospital’s Parkview facility, located five minutes south of campus. Students will receive results within forty-eight hours via an email from NorDx Laboratories with instructions for next steps. While the College will not receive these results, off-campus students are expected to avail themselves of this free resource and take seriously the CDC-recommended isolation period of ten days after the date of a positive test or, for those who develop COVID-19 symptoms, after at least ten days have passed since symptom onset and at least twenty-four hours since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.  
2. Can an employee decide not to work on campus when requested to do so by using vacation time?  What happens if they run out of accrued time?
Employees should speak with their managers about any concerns they have related to returning to work on campus to come up with a workable solution. If an employee chooses to request vacation time rather than return to work on campus the vacation time must be approved by the manager in advance. After vacation accruals are exhausted the employee is expected to return to work or resign their employment. 

3. Will I be required to work if I have no childcare or if my child’s school announces remote learning?
We understand that there may be challenges with childcare and remote learning, so we are encouraging managers to work with staff to provide flexible schedules to allow for employees to work. Employees are also being asked to be flexible and to cooperate with managers to seek alternative arrangements. If, after all of these efforts, arrangements cannot be made for alternate plans, an employee will be required to use vacation time to cover the time they cannot work.  

4. Has the College canceled all large events?
Yes. All large gatherings on campus have been canceled. While the state government is advising a halt to gatherings of more than 50 people, the College requires members of the Bowdoin community to limit gatherings to no more than twenty people.   

5. Are athletic facilities and the Buck Fitness Center open?
The College has developed a campus color status system and access to facilities and services will depend on the current status level.  

6. Will fitness and wellness classes proceed?
The College is working to find ways to offer fitness and wellness classes virtually. 

7. Who should I contact if I have questions about anything related to COVID-19? 
If you have questions regarding COVID-19 we recommend you review the CDC website and contact your primary care provider. If you have questions about the College’s policies, protocols, or procedures, contact

8. How do I record my time if I am working some shifts in the testing center?
Record regular hours (with your normal Department Cost Center) just as though you were performing your regular duties.