COA is a fully vaccinated community. All COA community members participating on campus during the 2022-23 academic year are required to be fully vaccinated. Please review our community expectations and reach out with any questions.

In Hancock County, Maine, community level is Medium. If you are at high risk for severe illness, ...In Hancock County, Maine, community level is Medium. If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
Get tested if you have symptoms.

COVID-19 messages to the community

SUBJECT: COVID-19 campus protocols for 2022-23
August 5, 2022

I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the remaining weeks of summer. I’m writing today to share some information about our campus protocols regarding COVID-19 this coming academic year. I hope you will take a minute to become familiar with them.

As you’ll find in our community expectations for 2022-23, COA 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 during the 2022-23 academic year. We will adapt to the protocols and guidelines that come with our efforts to stay safe, and we will continue to work with our regional health and scientific partners on crafting a flexible, appropriate response to COVID-19.

COA 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 vaccination, isolation, testing, and a strong community commitment to the wearing of masks and other public health measures as appropriate.

Vaccines continue to play an important part in the public health response to COVID-19. It is our expectation, and requirement, that COA community members are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. The vast majority of our campus, including faculty and staff, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Our testing regimen entering fall term will include the use of rapid and PCR tests. We will be coordinating baseline PCR COVID-19 testing this month and at the beginning of the term with The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. This year we are using The Broad’s new Color system. Community members will receive test kits, self-administer the nasal swabs, pack them into tubes, and then go online to register their tests before dropping them at a central location on campus for shipping. Following baseline testing, we will utilize rapid tests for symptomatic individuals and close contacts.

Our requirements on masking and other protocols have been designed to follow the recommendations of the US Centers for Disease Control, and will be based on the CDC’s community levels guidelines for Hancock County, ME, where we are located. Masks are generally optional when our community level is low or moderate. If the county moves to a high community level, masks will be required on campus in all shared, indoor, public spaces. Some classes may require masks even with low or moderate community levels, at the discretion of the faculty. Please review our color levels chart for more specifics.

All of our COVID-19 related policies, protocols, vaccine exemption requests, and updates can be found online at I encourage you to consult this resource in order to stay abreast with the latest from campus. We will also communicate regularly with COA community members via email about any important updates and changes.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have.

COVID-19 coordinator Rob Levin

SUBJECT: Summer COVID-19 protocols
June 10, 2022

I hope that you are enjoying this beautiful, green spring and gaining some much needed space and time to rejuvenate from the school year. I am writing to share some updates to this summer’s COVID-19 campus protocols that we’ve made to align our campus approach more closely with the guidance and recommendations of the US Centers for Disease Control. Please note that the following is for the summer season; we will develop our fall term and academic year protocols later this summer, based on the status of the pandemic at that time.

Campus status levels
To bring our Campus Status Levels color-coded chart in line with the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels, we have shifted the determination of when we consider campus to be under green or yellow status. As of Monday, June 13, campus will be in green status if the CDC Hancock County level is either low or medium, and will move to yellow if the county moves to high, or if we have an outbreak of multiple cases on campus.

In summary: masks will be optional in most shared indoor spaces on campus beginning Monday, June 13.

While Hancock County is at a low or medium community level (currently it’s medium), masks are optional in public spaces, including shared common spaces and shared offices on campus. If you review the CDC’s Community Levels recommendations, you will see that this masking protocol now matches with what the CDC recommends.

Please note that the CDC updates the county levels every Thursday night, so we will be updating our color on on Fridays. Also, it’s important to note that public-facing areas of the college, such as the library and the Dorr museum, may choose to require masks even while the rest of the campus is in green status.

COA protocols for positive COVID-19 cases
The college will continue to follow the CDC’s Quarantine and Isolation guidelines for COVID-19. Anyone testing positive for COVID should stay home and isolate for at least five days. We also ask that you notify of your situation, as we are continuing to track the total number of cases in the COA community (those living and/or working on campus this summer).

One important change for the summer is that the COVID coordinator will no longer be tracing and contacting close contacts to positive cases. We will be asking that anyone who contracts COVID-19 reach out to their close contacts and notify them of their exposure. Close contacts, in turn, are expected to mask up, watch for symptoms, and take rapid tests—the same protocol we have had.

Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to stay up to date on campus and CDC protocols. Please remember that we have plenty of rapid tests on hand—reach out if you need any.

Rob Levin, on behalf of the COVID-19 response team