Bates College’s testing center at Underhill Arena. Steve Collins/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — A Bates College student tested positive this week for COVID-19, the fourth time this semester that someone on the heavily tested campus has come down with the highly contagious virus. Two of the three previous cases also involved students. Both recovered.

The other was an employee whose results were disclosed early in October. The worker has also recovered, according to an online dashboard where the college reports its testing results.

The positive test was among a batch of 846 student test results disclosed Wednesday afternoon. All told, the school has given nearly 30,000 tests since it reopened in late August.

Standard procedure at Bates requires that students who test positive move into isolation housing, but the dashboard does not report anyone is staying in one of the 113 rooms set aside for quarantines. The college said Thursday the student is in isolation in private, off-campus housing.

The college also has tracers who try to track down anyone who might have been in close quarters with students or employees who test positive.

Bates has so far had good luck in holding the pandemic at bay through twice-weekly testing of all students and strict rules about social distancing, wearing masks and other protective measures aimed at stemming the spread of the disease that forced it to shut down its campus between March and August.

Maine has among the lowest COVID-19 rates in the country, which has helped.

According to a tracking site for colleges in the New England Small College Athletic Association, Colby College in Waterville also had a recent positive test. Colby has had a dozen cases this semester while Bowdoin College has had four, the same as Bates. Bowdoin has no active cases.

Middlebury and Hamilton colleges have had the best luck, with three cases for each, while Trinity College in Hartford has had the toughest time, with 78 cases total, though its outbreak appears to have passed.

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