By Associated Press - Wednesday, March 11, 2020

BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) - Thousands of Maine college students will complete their semesters via remote learning because of the threat of coronavirus.

The University of Maine System announced on Wednesday that it will transition to distance learning when classes resume on March 23, after spring break. The university said through a spokesperson that it will also notify on-campus residential students to depart campus by March 22. Housing and meal options will be available for students who must remain or return to campus housing due to personal circumstances, the university said.

Bowdoin College won’t allow students to return to campus from spring break, and will complete the spring semester through remote modalities, the college said in a Wednesday statement. Bowdoin officials said the college isn’t closed, and staff will continue to work.

But “due to the highly contagious nature of this virus and the susceptibility of communal campus life, it is only a matter of time before it finds its way here,” college president Clayton Rose said in a statement.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. There have been no confirmed Maine cases.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

Bowdoin said earlier it wouldn’t allow fans at this weekend’s women’s basketball sectional tournament games.


The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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