College of the Atlantic is home to students from more than 45 countries and 40 U.S. states.College of the Atlantic is home to students from more than 45 countries and 40 U.S. states.

“Together for Community: The College of the Atlantic Safe Campus Plan for Fall Term 2020” outlines COA’s baseline and surveillance testing strategies, facilities updates, and changes to the academic program to create a hybrid learning scenario with some students and faculty completely online.

“Our primary concern during this time is the safety and wellbeing of all of our students, staff, and faculty, and doing our part to help keep the curve as low as possible in our broader community here on Mount Desert Island,” said COA President Darron Collins ’92. “We’re asking everyone who will be taking part in the campus program to commit to a number of health and safety protocols to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections, and to see it as a shared responsibility to do so.”

“We’re asking everyone … to commit to a number of health and safety protocols … and to see it as a shared responsibility to do so.”

COA officials announced earlier this summer that they would reopen their campus to students for a hybrid fall term. Orientation week, which begins September 6, will feature both online and appropriately distanced, outdoor components, with classes beginning Monday, Sept. 14. Faculty have been given the independence to teach from on or off campus, as they feel serves them and their students the best, while students have been given a similar option to participate from on campus or from wherever they may be.

“We all need the flexibility and the freedom to make the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our communities as we move forward in these uncertain times,” Collins said.

COA will treat campus housing groups similar to family units, typically eight students to a house who will not be required to physical distance and wear masks around one another. The school has developed a test, trace, and isolate plan and will be doing their testing through The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Tests will be delivered to the Broad labs in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with results available within 24 hours after tests are received. Campus program participants will use an app/web platform called CoVerified to track results, check symptoms, and record close contacts for contact tracing. The full plan and related updates are available at coa.edu/covid-19.