COA opens term, reports zero active COVID-19 cases 



BAR HARBOR — Baseline testing for COVID-19 has been completed at College of the Atlantic and the school is reporting no active cases of the novel coronavirus. 

COA has facilitated a total of 880 tests since Aug. 22, with nearly every community member participating in person this fall receiving two tests. A total of 370 students are enrolled at COA for the fall term, with 320 of them taking part in person and the rest from locations around the globe. 

“I’m cautiously optimistic at this point in the term, and very happy that the COA community is COVID-free, can participate in a safe on-campus experience and can continue to be active participants in the greater MDI community,” said COA president Darron Collins. “I want to thank our staff, faculty and students for their commitment to mask-wearing, physical distancing, hand washing and the other measures we’ve put in place to stay safe this term. We’ve had a great start, but we must remain vigilant and firm in our commitments as we move forward into the fall.” 

Baseline testing returned one positive result for COVID-19 from a person who had the virus earlier in the summer but continues to test positive. After consultation with the person’s personal physician and local medical consultants from Mount Desert Island Hospital, and in accordance with CDC guidelines, COA officials labeled the person as a recovered case. 

All testing results and the status of campus isolation and quarantine measures can be found online at coa.edu/covid19dashboard. 

COA is partnered with The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for their fall testing program. The tests are shallow-swab PCR tests, self-administered under medical supervision. Tests are couriered to Cambridge, Mass., with results available within 24-48 hours of arrival, and typically much faster. 

The school is gearing up to test approximately 20 percent of the in-person population of staff, faculty and students throughout the term, with a sampling from a broad range of on- and off-campus housing and academic areas. Approximately 10 percent of the campus was tested this week, all with negative results. 

Classes began at COA on Sept.14, and the 10-week trimester ends on Nov20. 

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