College of the Atlantic is committed to providing a safe, thoughtful, academically inspiring environment for our students, staff, and faculty. Together, with grace and empathy, we will co-create our community of human ecologists this winter. We will adapt to the protocols and guidelines that come with our efforts to stay safe, and we will find ways new and old to communicate, connect, and create.

College of the Atlantic is committed to serving our students by using science-informed plans to reduce the spread of COVID-19, accommodate vulnerable members of our community, respond to incidents of COVID-19 infection, and protect each other and our community. We seek to limit the transmission of the virus through baseline and surveillance testing, isolation, quarantine, and a strong community commitment to physical distancing, wearing of masks, and other public health measures.

COA winter term 2021 begins on Monday, January 4. The first week of the term will be entirely online while we complete baseline COVID-19 testing.

Review the updated COA 2020-21 Safe Campus Plan


A message from COA President Darron Collins ’92

December 15, 2020

As I write this message, tens of thousands of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine doses are being loaded into a FedEx cold-storage van for distribution throughout our state. A total of 300 vials (150 doses) will find their way to 10 Wayman Lane, the Mount Desert Island Hospital, and into the bloodstreams of our local health and emergency workers. Thus begins the largest vaccination mobilization the world has ever seen.

The road toward herd immunity is long. Many months of mask wearing, physical distancing, and frequent handwashing lie between now and a time of pre-COVID behavioral norms. That said, despite the very troubling increases in case numbers and deaths across the country and the globe, it’s hard not to see a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.

Amidst this juxtaposition of good and bad news, we will open the College of the Atlantic campus for an in-person winter term this January. While welcoming all students, staff, and faculty to return to campus, I am—as in the fall—allowing everyone the flexibility to make their own decisions about whether or not to be physically present at 105 Eden Street. We must all make the choices that are best for us and for our families, and I believe that faculty, staff, and students have the creative capacities to make winter term successful by combining in-person and remote teaching, learning, and working.

Read more from President Collins


COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 testing is an important part of our plan to keep campus open and have a productive winter term. Every member of our in-person community for winter term 2021 is required to participate in our testing program, including baseline testing for all at the start of the term, followed by weekly surveillance testing of a selected portion of the community to monitor the ongoing public health of our campus program.

View the COA Covid-19 Dashboard


Face covering considerations

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in the same household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Face masks are required in all common areas and classrooms on the COA campus.

Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others, and are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.

Proper face masks include disposable medical face masks and cloth face masks or gaiters with at least two layers of material. Masks should be snug but comfortable against the sides of the face, secured with ties or ear loops, allow you to breathe without restriction, and should be able to withstand machine washing and drying and not get damaged or change shape.

Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn, nor should bandanas. For more mask information, including laundering instructions: cdc.gov


Campus updates