A nurse holds swabs and a test tube kit to test people for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, Monday at a drive through station set up in the parking lot of the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. Credit: Paul Sancya | AP

As of 11 a.m. Friday, March 20, 44 Maine residents have been confirmed positive and 12 others are presumed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.

A case of the new coronavirus has been detected at Bates College in Lewiston.

Bates President Clayton Spencer said Thursday that a member of the college’s community tested positive for the coronavirus and was isolated at home.

Spencer refrained from sharing additional information about the case — including whether it was a student, staff or faculty member — to “safeguard the privacy of this individual.”

Spencer urged the Bates community to take precautions to avoid catching the coronavirus, including maintaining physical distance from others and avoiding physical contact, as well as frequent handwashing.

The revelation comes as state health officials have reported 56 confirmed and likely cases of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, in at least seven counties across the state. That includes two confirmed and one likely cases in Androscoggin County, where Bates is located, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Another person from Androscoggin County has recovered from the coronavirus.

Other cases have been confirmed at Colby College in Waterville and the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

Last Friday, Bates joined a growing number of universities across the state that suspended classroom instruction and shifted toward remote learning. Initially, the college refrained from closing its campus because it had no upcoming breaks before the semester’s end on April 18. The decision to close the campus came a day after the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in Maine.

“The dimensions of this crisis continue to unfold, and it is easy to be overwhelmed by anxiety and uncertainty,” Spencer said in a message to the Bates community. “Yet we are, quite literally, all in this together, and every day bears witness to remarkable acts of courage, generosity, and kindness by members of this community, one to another.”