Three students at Colby College have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The announcement made Tuesday morning comes a day before classes resume at the Waterville campus and as the school has rolled out an aggressive strategy to halt the virus’ spread.
The three students are not experiencing symptoms, but have been placed in isolation, school administrators said. The students did not become infected while at Colby, and there’s been no evidence of “community transmission,” the administrators said. None of the cases are believed to be connected.
“Colby’s medical director is reviewing the circumstances of each case and will determine when students can be released from isolation,” administrators said in a statement.
In addition to those students, two college employees tested positive, but both received negative twice after being tested again, according to the college. One of those employees had been working remotely since March, and the other has since left to work elsewhere.
Those five positive tests are out of 6,400 conducted over the past month as Colby College gears up for the fall semester. That’s a positivity rate of 0.08 percent, according to the college. Of all those tests, 4,700 were conducted on campus and the rest before students returned.
In June, Colby College announced it would conduct 85,000 tests for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, in the fall semester. That’s part of a reopening plan expected to cost the school $10 million this year.
The 85,000 tests will start with students being tested prior to their arrival with test kits the school will provide. All school community members — including faculty and staff — will be tested three times during the opening weeks of the semester. Afterward, everyone will be tested twice a week.
Colby is requiring students to isolate in their residences until they have received a negative test.