Published: November 19, 2020
To the Thomas College Community,
Thanks to our combined sacrifices, diligence, and compassion for each other, the Thomas College community has been able to create a campus environment where we can safely learn, live, and work together this fall. As of today, our community has taken nearly 9,000 tests with more than 4,500 tests planned between now and the end of finals as we move to twice-weekly testing post-Thanksgiving.
Earlier today, we learned that that a member of the Thomas College community tested positive for COVID-19. Once again, our rigorous testing strategy quickly identified this incident so it could be contained and help minimize the risk of spread to others. The individual is currently in isolation and those identified as being in close contact/exposed are in quarantine. We are working with the Maine CDC to identify any others who may have been in close contact/exposed to ensure appropriate notifications and quarantine protocols are in effect.
I want to stress that this individual did not become infected on the Thomas College campus and there is no evidence of community transmission of the virus.
We are fully committed to transparently communicating our testing results. However, we must preserve this individual’s privacy and we ask that you please respect the confidentiality of this individual so they can focus on their health.
Using correct and specific terminology becomes very important as we share information. Above I used terms like “close contact/exposed”, “isolation”, and “quarantine” and I want to take a moment to provide some clear definitions for those terms.
- Close Contact/Exposed: Generally defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time frame
- Quarantine: When you separate people from others because they may have been exposed or in close contact to the COVID-19 virus but are not currently symptomatic
- Isolation: When you separate people who are infected with the virus (with or without symptoms) from people who are not infected
I also want to remind all of us of our shared pledge and reinforce some of the most impactful actions that we can all take to keep our community safe and together:<
- Self-screen daily for COVID-19 symptoms
- Practice good hygiene (including washing your hands frequently)
- Wear a facial covering
- Practice social distancing by remaining 6-feet from others
The health and safety of our community has always been held above all other considerations. We will continue to live up to that pledge with every decision we make as we approach the end of the fall 2020 semester.
For the most recent updates from the Thomas College community, please visit our COVID-19 web page at https://wwwold.thomas.edu/coronavirus. You can find more information about the Thomas College Return to Campus Safely Plan at https://wwwold.thomas.edu/coronavirus/return-to-campus. If you have questions related to COVID-19, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With deep respect,
Laurie G. Lachance