Saint Joseph’s College is closing its campus after 12 students tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.
The Standish college has recently seen a rise in “student conduct” that has allowed the virus to spread quickly, the college’s pandemic task force said Sunday.
The college will be sending students — whether living on or off-campus — home in the weeks ahead. All classes will be conducted remotely by the beginning of next week.
All residential students will be tested for COVID-19 from Monday to Thursday. With the tests taking one day to process, university officials are asking students who test negative to leave campus immediately. “Arrangements” will be made with the school’s Health and Wellness Center for students who test positive, the task force said.
Students who feel they are unable to return home can contact the residential living department and state why they are requesting to stay on campus.
The school said the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention helped craft the exit plan.
Colleges across the state have reported violations in pandemic restrictions amid rising coronavirus cases in Maine.
On Friday, the Maine CDC said that an outbreak at Husson University in Bangor was tied to an off-campus Halloween party, where attendees did not wear masks. And last month, Bates College in Lewiston sent home an undisclosed number of students for violating pandemic restrictions, including missing COVID-19 tests and ignoring face-mask requirements.
Saint Joseph’s College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts school with an average enrollment of about 2,000 students.