President David Greene recognizes the dedication of everyone who cares for the Colby community every day, and he expresses his commitment to making sure Colby cares for them as well in this March 27 letter to the community.

As of April 2, 2020, six Colby community members have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, only one person was tested and diagnosed in Maine. The others left campus on March 15 before undergoing testing. All the individuals who tested positive have isolated in their homes and reported that they are not experiencing symptoms that require hospitalization (five of the community members have recovered). Additionally, they have provided a list of community members with whom they had close contact, and all of those individuals have been notified.

We continue to request that all community members who remain on campus and who have been tested report the information to the College via the confidential form found here.

The health and safety of our community is of paramount importance. Colby has been monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 using all available resources, and we will continue to work closely with health and government agencies to do everything possible to contain and prevent the spread of the disease.

This website was developed to provide updates about the College’s efforts in regard to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Please refer to it and the FAQS  for questions about COVID-19 or the recent changes related to Colby’s decision to move to remote learning.

For additional questions, please contact us at covid-19@colby.edu or 207-859-4460, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. If you are calling or emailing outside of these hours, we will return your message as soon as possible.

Symptoms, Transmission, and Prevention

The COVID-19 outbreak is occurring at the same time that we are experiencing a particularly acute flu season. Many of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 are similar to those of the flu, and the preventative measures are also the same. Understanding the symptoms and ways to prevent the virus are key to keeping the community healthy.

How COVID-19 spreads
COVID-19 Symptoms
Prevention and Treatment
What To Do If You Are Sick
Other Frequently Asked Questions

According to the CDC, the most effective way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus. To learn more about daily preventative actions, click here.

Human COVID-19 commonly causes mild-to-moderate illness in people. To reduce your risk of infection:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 10-20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Consider an alternative to shaking hands.
  • Cough into your sleeve, or preferably a tissue and immediately discard.
  • Avoid sharing food and beverages.
  • If you reside with someone who is sick, try to stay at least six feet away to prevent exposure.
  • If you are ill, avoid being in contact with others.

It is not too late to get a flu shot. Health Services has additional flu vaccine if you haven’t received a flu shot. Call 207-859-4460 for an appointment.

What to do if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider and the Health Center immediately.

What to do if you are tested for COVID-19

We ask that all students who remain on campus, faculty, staff, and until April 3, all students who left Colby, who have been tested report the information to the College via the confidential form found here. This improves our ability to trace cases of the virus to protect our community.

Events and Athletics

All public events, performances, and athletic contests were canceled beginning Sunday, March 15.

College and Personal Travel

For the health and safety of our community, all College-sponsored travel by employees, domestic and international, is prohibited until further notice. We strongly encourage staff and faculty to curtail all personal travel outside of Maine as well. We recognize that there may be instances where such travel is necessary and appropriate (e.g., family illness, medical treatment) and you should, of course, proceed with that travel. If you are leaving for travel, please register your travel prior to departure by clicking here.

While there may not be any restrictions on domestic travel today, it is possible that travel restrictions might be imposed while you are away. Likewise, if the coronavirus outbreak expands, you may be required to fulfill a 14-day quarantine period at your permanent home residence prior to returning to campus. If undergoing quarantine at your permanent residence is not possible due to extraordinary circumstances, please contact your supervisor or dean, who will reach out to the vice president in your area. Decisions on whether to quarantine will need to be made based on the unique circumstances of your travel.

If you are returning from travel, faculty and staff must register their return at least 48 hours before arrival on this form.

In making a decision, the College will take the following into consideration:

  • If you have recently have returned from a trip to an affected area with outbreaks as determined by the CDC or a country with a Level 2 advisory due to the virus, or if you know you have had actual exposure to someone who has tested positive or exhibited COVID-19 symptoms (in your place of travel or in the course of traveling), you will be required to quarantine.
  • In other situations, the College will examine the following factors, none of which are determinative or all-inclusive:
    • Whether you came from a community that is heavily affected by the coronavirus, especially those experiencing “community spread.”
    • Whether you spent time in one or more large public gatherings (greater than 50 people) and were not able to maintain social distance (six feet).
    • The most updated health and travel information available from the CDC on the location(s) of your travel.
    • Any restrictions, orders, screenings, and quarantine guidelines that may be in place at the time of your return, including in Maine, in the location(s) in (or through) which you travelled and in the transportation you used to travel. Note that travel restrictions into the U.S. may apply to certain travelers that have recently spent time in affected areas and these guidelines will continue to evolve. Maine may likewise institute restrictions in the future.
    • Whether your job or other presence on campus requires you to spend significant time with people at higher risk for severe disease or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes).

Visitors to Campus

For the health and safety of our community visitors are prohibited from campus until further notice.The Colby College Museum of Art, Miller Library, the Chace Forum in the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, athletic facilities, and other buildings are closed. All admissions events, including the Class of 2024 Admitted Students Program, campus tours, and information sessions have been canceled.

For scheduled visits by individuals or groups (e.g., job applicants, consultants, etc.), supervisors and staff are strongly encouraged to use phone calls, Skype, or Zoom to replace in-person meetings. If you need any assistance with any of these technologies, please contact the ITS Support Center.

To request special permission for bringing a visitor to campus due to extenuating circumstances, please click here.