Coronavirus Concerns Explode across the NESCAC : A Timeline

As of now, Bates is the last NESCAC college planning to remain in session as the Coronavirus pandemic progresses. Although the college indicated that it plans to complete the winter semester as scheduled, uncertainty and confusion about the future of athletics, finances, performances, events and short term remain.

The Student is committed to providing live updates backed by reliable sources to the student body through social media and our website.

This is a developing story. Updates will be added as they become available. Please email questions and tips to [email protected]



2:19 p.m. – According to Bates’ Website, Information and Library Support (ILS) has created resources for professors on remote teaching, and training workshops will be offered to faculty beginning next week.

1:23 p.m. – According to an email sent by Darryl Uy, the Director of Admission, March 13 is the last day that admissions tours and information sessions will be held on campus until further notice.

12:28 p.m. – According to the Sun Journal, Gov. Janet Mills announced the first presumptive case of the Coronavirus in Maine in Androscoggin County, where Bates is located. The woman is in her 50s and is currently being quarantined at home.

12:28 p.m. – According to Bates’ Website, Dining Services has put forward several changes that will be enforced Friday, March 13, including a modified meal schedule. Additionally, there will be new menu starting on Friday that is “designed to minimize high-touch items being served.” Ben E. Mays Center (circular building next to the Village) will open as an alternate dining location for “grab and go” pre-packaged items. More information to come.

8:57 a.m. – Bates Administration announced that Bates buildings are closed to the public and students must carry a valid Bates ID with them at all times. The buildings most affected include Commons, Olin and Merrill. Students may be asked to show building monitors their student ID.

8:52 a.m. – Center for Global Education notified students by email the cancellation of off-campus short terms.

March 11, 2020

10:17 p.m. – NCAA Track Championships will prohibit spectators. NCAA banquet is canceled.

10:00 p.m. – Connecticut College officially suspended winter semester classes.

Bates Administration has confirmed that Bates is not currently planning to institute a lock-down, i.e. prohibiting students from leaving campus, or cancel community partnerships, specifically class related field work such as education class components.

Gala (scheduled for March 28) and Lick-It, a popular OutFront event (scheduled for March 27) have been cancelled until further notice. This is due to the recently announced Bates policy that “any events with more than 100 people attending must be pre-approved by the Senior Emergency Response Group.”

Sources within the Offices of Financial Aid and Registrar indicate that all off-campus short term classes will be canceled. An official announcement about this is expected soon.

According to Director of Athletics Jason Fein in a message posted to the Bates website, the spring sport season at Bates has been canceled. “I realize this is very difficult and disappointing news, particularly for our seniors, who were looking forward to a final season of hard work and competition,” he wrote. “However, we find ourselves in a situation where we have an obligation, with respect to all college activities, to mitigate health risks to the Bates community as a whole.”

NESCAC Presidents previously met and concluded unanimously that NESCAC Championships and conference play would be cancelled for the spring 2020 season.

Bates announced that classes will continue as planned, however gatherings of more than 100 people will need express permission to occur. Additionally, all college sponsored, non-essential travel has been canceled.

This morning, hoax posters were posted across campus, particularly in locations such as on classroom walls and in newspaper distribution bins. The Chief Communications Officer has since emailed the student body confirming that “these flyers are a hoax, neither authored nor signed by President Spencer, and they do not represent accurate guidance from the college on the matter of COVID-19.”

Hoax poster distributed across campus on March 11.

NESCAC Schools that have Suspended On-Campus Classes


Amherst was the first of the NESCACs to suspend classes on March 9 following Spring Break. Classes have been canceled Thursday and Friday this week in preparation for students to move out and professors to shift to online platforms for classes. Remote classes will begin March 23, and some students may petition to remain on campus. As of now there have been no reported cases on campus.


Middlebury announced on March 10 that they will begin Spring Break one week earlier than scheduled, and this break will last for two weeks. Students must leave campus no later than March 15. Online classes will begin March 30.


Bowdoin is the first Maine NESCAC to suspend classes. Announced on March 11, all students who are currently on campus for spring break will be expected to vacate their rooms by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18. Students who are off campus will have an opportunity to pick up there belongings. Classes are scheduled to resume remotely, on Wednesday, March 25.


Tufts announced on March 10 that, beginning March 25, classes will be conducted online for the remainder of the semester.


Williams announced on March 11 that they will begin spring break a week earlier than scheduled (on March 14), and will move to online learning beginning on April 6. Students were told to assume that they will not return this semester, and should pack accordingly.


Trinity announced on March 11 that for the two weeks following spring break (through April 5), the college will move to online learning. Students were told that they will continue the assess the situation and will communicate whether or not they need to extend the period of online learning by March 27. The college expressed that they are hopeful that they will be able to resume on-campus learning before the end of the semester.


Wesleyan announced on March 11 that in-person classes are suspended for the remainder of the semester. Students were told that they should return to campus by March 23 to collect their belongings, and that students must depart campus by that time.

Connecticut College

Connecticut College announced on March 11 that they will officially suspended classes. Remote classes will begin March 25.


On March 12, according to an official statement released on the Colby website, classes and regularly scheduled activities will continue through Saturday, March 14. On Sunday, March 15, all students who are able have been asked to move out. After a two-week spring break, remote courses will begin on Monday, March 30, and continue through the normal schedule of classes and finals.


On March 12, in an official statement on Hamilton website, students are being asked to leave campus at the end of the week. Remote instruction will begin Monday, March 30, and continue for at least two weeks. It will reassess whether it is possible to resume normal operations safely for the remainder of the semester mid-April.