In this Oct. 17, 2019, file photo, a pedestrian hops over a puddle at the corner of College and Bates Streets in Lewiston. Credit: Russ Dillingham / Sun Journal via AP

Bates College will not require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the school year, unlike many Maine colleges and universities.

School officials told employees they are “strongly encouraged to be vaccinated,” though it is optional, the Lewiston Sun Journal reported. Unvaccinated staff will be required to wear masks inside all buildings unless they’re alone.

Students are required to receive the vaccine before arriving on the Lewiston campus for the fall semester. The move was in line with other Maine colleges and universities, including University of New England in Biddeford, College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor and Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

Each college will require staff and faculty to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus, according to the schools’ websites.

Matt Berg

Matt is a senior at UMass Amherst, studying journalism and history. Before joining the Bangor Daily News, he was the managing editor of his student newspaper and interned at the Boston Globe.