Businesses in downtown Waterville excited about return of Colby students

The school has a $10 million health plan to protect the Colby community and surrounding area.
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 4:51 PM EDT
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - As Colby College students begin returning to campus, COVID-19 testing and CDC guidelines will be part of the new normal this year.

As of Tuesday, three students and two faculty members have tested positive.

The Waterville school has a $10 million health plan to protect the Colby community and surrounding area.

“We are really excited about having the students return. The students are really part of our community, and we miss them when they’re not here,” said President & CEO of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce Kim Lindlof. “I applaud both Colby and Thomas in the efforts that it’s making in testing, testing, testing so that they can keep everybody healthy.”

Over 2,000 students will be returning to live on campus and throughout downtown Waterville.

Before arriving, students must test negative for the coronavirus and will be tested three more times the week they return.

Students will be tested twice a week throughout the rest of the school year.

I think they’re the most tested people in Kennebec County. I feel safe. I think Colby has nothing but the best interest of this community and first and foremost their students, of course, in mind, and I think all the testing is great,” said co-owner of Holy Cannoli Jason Furchak. “I’m really appreciative to Colby for having done that.”

A local candy store that opened in January is excited about the return of students.

“As a candy store owner, having an influx of younger people could work in our benefit. We didn’t have a huge opportunity to have the benefits of the college students, so I’m really looking forward to what’s in store for us,” said Malcolm Porter, co-owner of Incense & Pepermints. “Knowing that Colby’s taking those precautions actually heartened me.”

Many downtown storefronts are happy with the precautions Colby is taking to ensure safety and communication to everyone in the community.

For updates on coronavirus testing at Colby College, you can visit this website.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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