Bowdoin College campus earlier this month after students, who were on spring break, were told they would not be returning to campus. Hannah LaClaire / The Times Record

BRUNSWICK — A Bowdoin College community member is presumed to have COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, and three students are quarantined and “presumed to be infected” after contact with another person who also tested positive, according to college officials. 

The person is under a doctor’s care and is self-isolating at home, president Clayton Rose said in a letter to the Bowdoin community Tuesday. Official confirmation from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is still pending and the cases are currently presumptive positive.

The person has not been on campus since March 17. School officials are working to track the patient’s movements on campus before last Tuesday and will notify anyone known to have been in contact with this person, Rose said. He did not specify whether it was a student, faculty or staff member who is sick. 

Last week, Rose said the three students are in self-isolation outside of Maine and none of the students has been on campus, in Brunswick or in contact with anyone else from campus or town since their contact with the infected individual.

“While this news is indeed distressing, it is no surprise — given the community-spread nature of this disease,” he said. 

While cases of the virus are widely considered to be more dangerous for people with underlying health conditions and people over 60, doctors are seeing severe symptoms in young people as well. 

Jack Allard, a former two-time All-American lacrosse player and 2016 Bates College graduate is in critical condition after contracting COVID-19, the Sun Journal reportedAllard is in a medically induced coma in New Jersey and is breathing with the help of a respirator. Allard, 25, has no underlying health conditions, his mother told the student paper. 

In Maine, there are 142 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Of those, 87 are in Cumberland County, where there is evidence of community transmission, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are four identified cases in Sagadahoc County. 

“We should expect more difficult news in the days and weeks ahead,” Rose said last week. 

Earlier this month, the college announced that after spring break, students were not to return to campus and would complete the rest of the semester online. Commencement and the college reunion will both be rescheduled “as soon as we have a better understanding of when this public health crisis will pass.” 

Bowdoin College is exempt from Brunswick’s emergency declaration mandating all non-essential businesses to close, Rose said, but all non-essential campus staff are working remotely, nevertheless. 

Remote learning for students began Wednesday.

“None of us could have predicted this moment or would have chosen it,” Rose said, “… And we all know that this last part of the semester will simply not be the same.”

This story has been updated to reflect that the case is still pending confirmation from the CDC.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.