Colby College attributes rigorous testing and accountability to low COVID-19 numbers

The Waterville school has seen only 11 positive cases since returning to campus.
Colby College
Colby College(WABI)
Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 3:42 PM EDT
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - The return to campus has proven to be a difficult task for many colleges across the country, but for Colby College in Waterville it seems to be going smoothly.

“Whenever someone’s like how Colby is going or how is the college doing it this semester, my often response is, it’s Colby with masks on," said Senior Sam Rosenstein.

Colby College has adapted a rigorous COVID-19 testing program that they attribute to their success.

Students and staff must be tested twice a week and limit social gatherings to 10 people.

You will rarely see a student without a mask.

“It really only takes one person, and you don’t want to be that one person to really harm this opportunity for all of us to be here," Rosenstein said.

Since returning to campus, Colby has administered nearly 50,000 COVID-19 tests, to date only 11 students and faculty have tested positive for the virus.

“We talked with a lot of public health officials, a lot of scientists, researchers and recognized that was the most important thing we could do to ensure our students would successfully be able to return," said Dean of the College Karlene Burrell-McRae.

Colby has remained committed to offering an in-person education.

Something extremely important to first-generation college student Ashlee Guevara.

“When you’re back home, you may not be having the same equitable experience in the classroom, you don’t have your professors there you don’t have students there that you can sort of get feedback from," Guevara said.

With sports and parents weekend canceled, students and faculty are working to keep the college experience alive as safely as possible.

Even during fall break.

“This weekend we’re going to be having a really large kickball event that will totally safe and socially distant," Guevara said. "Doing all these little things to sort of keep students on campus and keep students engaged in the community throughout the weekend.”

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