COVID-19 Adjustments (September 17, 2021)

To the campus community, 

As indicated in Mike Ranen’s message on Wednesday, our progress in controlling the spread of COVID-19 on campus has allowed us to ease some of the temporary restrictions put in place on September 2.

This is made possible by your cooperation and diligence, and as long as the positive cases remain low, we should be able to make other changes over time. Some more good news for a Friday: Mike reports that we had no positive cases in yesterday’s testing.   

For now, the Delta variant remains concerning, both because it is highly contagious and because it moves very quickly. That said, to date, we have seen no cases of COVID-19 transmission outside student residences—none in our classrooms, labs, or the library; none in athletics or during other activities; and none in our dining facilities. Our experience—and the data more generally—show that the vaccination/mask combination provides powerful protection, and that’s why we will continue to require proof of vaccination for campus visitors and why we are likely to keep our indoor mask mandate in place until the end of the semester. Those who wish to wear masks outdoors are encouraged to do so. 

Earlier this week, we held two Zoom town halls to answer questions from staff and faculty. If you missed them, recordings of the staff town hall and the faculty town hall are available online. 

We have also spent time this week taking a close look at upcoming activities and events in light of conditions here and the nature and goals for each activity or event. The information appended below from Tony Sprague outlines our current thinking. 

Thank you for all you are doing to stay safe and to protect the health and safety of others. 

All the best, 

Clayton 

*** 

To the campus community, 

As you know, fall semester brings with it a number of campus events for alumni, parents, and families, our neighbors locally and in the region, and for all of us. Given the current course of the COVID-19 pandemic locally and in Maine, we have made a number of adjustments to the events listed below in conjunction with other offices and event organizers, beginning with the first home volleyball game this evening. Please have a look at the list below for more information. 

Home Volleyball Games—Morrell Gymnasium (only fall indoor sport) 

  • Capacity limited to about 40 percent of total capacity (500) 
  • Proof of vaccination will be required of all non-Bowdoin spectators by using Health Pass by CLEAR
  • Spectators will be required to wear masks while indoors. 
  • Children under the age of twelve will not be permitted at indoor events. 
  • See the Bowdoin Athletics website for more information about home event spectator guidelines.  

Alumni Council, Alumni Fund Directors, and BRAVO National Advisory Board meetings (Sept. 23–25) 

  • All meetings will be virtual. 

Leaders in All Walks of Life: 50 Years of Women at Bowdoin (Kickoff weekend Sept. 24-25) 

  • Events have been moved from in person to virtual (some events will be postponed until they can be in person).  

Homecoming (Oct. 1–3) 

  • Will take place as scheduled but with reduced activities 
  • All events will be held outdoors. 
  • Attendees will be asked to test for COVID-19 before traveling to campus. 
  • Proof of vaccination using Health Pass by CLEAR will be required for all attendees (other than current students, faculty, and staff). 
  • Outside attendees will receive wristbands for the weekend indicating that they are vaccinated.  

Fall Vacation (Oct. 9-12) 

  • Will take place as scheduled 
  • Many students will remain on campus where dining, the library, and other resources will remain open. 
  • Those who travel are asked to stay safe, to be thoughtful, and to make careful decisions. 
  • Travelers are encouraged to follow Bowdoin protocols while away from campus, including masking while indoors at public events or with people outside their own households. 
  • A revised COVID-19 testing schedule for the week will be posted before the break.  

Family Weekend (Oct. 22–23) 

  • Will take place as scheduled but with reduced activities 
  • Proof of vaccination using Health Pass by CLEAR will be required for all visitors, with wristbands provided to vaccinated guests. 
  • Masks will be required at all indoor events (see below). 
  • Boxed lunches will be provided (no indoor dining for visitors). 
  • Saturday afternoon and evening will include a festive outdoor gathering with food trucks and student performances. 

President’s Summer Research Symposium (Oct. 22) 

  • Will take place as scheduled in Morrell Gymnasium 
  • Proof of vaccination using Health Pass by CLEAR and masks will be required for all visitors. 
  • Capacity will be limited to about 40 percent of total capacity (500).  

Sarah and James Bowdoin Day (Oct. 22) 

  • Will take place as scheduled 
  • Proof of vaccination using Health Pass by CLEAR will be required for all visitors. 
  • Capacity will be limited. 
  • Event will be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person.  

In addition to these events, there are a number of upcoming endowed lectureships, symposia, performances, exhibitions, and other events that will require adherence to Bowdoin health and safety protocols. In general, masks will be required at all indoor events, and visitors attending Bowdoin events (indoors or outdoors) must be fully vaccinated and will be required to confirm their vaccination status using Health Pass by CLEAR before entering the event. Specific guidance for these individual events will be shared in advance. 

Finally, with respect to outside guests on campus, we will continue to require proof of vaccination and the use of masks. This includes outside speakers, guest lecturers, and other invited guests in classrooms or other venues. Those wishing to bring outside guests to campus should refer to the COVID-19 Guidance for Contractors, Official Visitors, Prospective Students, and Prospective Employees page on the Bowdoin website

Please continue to visit the Office of Events and Summer Programs website and the College’s COVID-19 FAQ page for updates. 

Tony 

Tony Sprague 
Executive Director of Events and Summer Programs