If the campuswide siren sounds:

  • Check your cellphone for a text message.
  • Check umaine.edu for emergency information.
  • Check your email.

If those options are not available, call 581.INFO (581.4636) to listen to a recorded message with more information.


Community update: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Jan. 22, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in close to 300 confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally. The first case of the novel coronavirus was announced on Jan. 21, 2020. There are ongoing investigations to learn more. CDC is closely monitoring this situation and is working with WHO.

According to the CDC, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Usually coronavirus only causes mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people, and then spread between people, such as has been seen with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). When person-to-person spread has occurred with SARS and MERS, it is thought to happen via respiratory droplets with close contacts, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. More information is online.

The first case in the United States was a patient with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection who traveled from Wuhan on Jan. 15, 2020. The patient sought care at a medical facility in the state of Washington. Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, health care professionals suspected the new coronavirus. A clinical specimen was collected and sent to CDC overnight, where laboratory testing Jan. 20 confirmed the diagnosis.

On Jan. 11, 2020, CDC updated the level 1 travel health notice (“practice usual precautions”) for Wuhan City, Hubei Province, (originally issued on Jan. 6,2020). On Jan. 21, 2020, CDC updated to the level II travel health notice (“practice enhanced precautions”) for Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China with additional information.

CDC interim guidance on the outbreak is online.


Community reminder: Take steps to prevent the flu, Jan. 22, 2020

Influenza activity in the state of Maine is widespread, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC). The Maine CDC data indicates outpatient medical facilities for influenza-like illness visits continue to increase ahead of last year, same time period.

Members of the University of Maine community are reminded that it is not too late to get vaccinated. Vaccination can reduce illness and prevent hospitalization and death. Influenza vaccination is strongly encouraged throughout the season and is still widely available.

Maine CDC recommends the following the “No Flu For U” preventative measures:

  • Wash your hands frequently to prevent transmission of influenza and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer between hand washings.
  • Cover your cough: Use tissues, or cough into your sleeve.
  • Stay home when you are sick, Symptomatic individuals should remain home until 24 hours after fever resolves without the use of medications.
  • Get vaccinated: Maine CDC recommends vaccination for everyone aged 6 months and older, especially for those people who are at high risk of serious complications from the flu. The influenza vaccine is provided at no cost by the state of Maine for children under the age of 19 years. The vaccine, which offers protection in 14 days, is still available through school-sponsored clinics, health care providers and many local pharmacies.

Community notice: UMaine to conduct annual emergency communications system test Oct. 21, 2019

The University of Maine will conduct its annual emergency communications system test on Monday, Oct. 21, complete with three outdoor sirens sounding for several minutes. The sirens are part of UMaine’s multifaceted emergency communications system established in 2007 that allows university safety and communications professionals to use several mechanisms to quickly communicate vital information to the community during emergency situations.

When UMaine’s emergency communication system is activated, several notifications occur: A text message is sent to subscribers of UMaine’s umaine.alerts system; UMaine PD sounds the sirens; information is posted on the university’s homepage and the UMaine portal; and a recorded telephone message may be heard by dialing 581.INFO.

Members of the University of Maine community are reminded to register to receive UMaine’s emergency notifications. The emergency notification service alerts the UMaine community to public safety issues, including inclement weather conditions causing class cancellations.

Those registered for UMaine alerts will receive a message about the emergency notification system on Oct. 21, as well as on the 15th of every month. Registration for texts and/or email alerts may be done online.

Community update: Pertussis diagnosis on campus, Sept 11, 2019

A second case of pertussis, or whooping cough, has been diagnosed in the University of Maine community and was reported today to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The individual, a student who lives in campus residential housing, exhibited pertussis-like symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. This case is not connected with the pertussis case at UMaine reported Sept. 5.

At this time, no other cases of pertussis have been reported on campus. Based on the medical risks assessment of the case occurring in a campus residence hall, intervention has been advised for the university. Additional cleaning of touch points, handrails and bathrooms is being initiated in the residence hall, and peers who have had close contact (within 3 feet) of the symptomatic individual are being instructed to contact Cutler Health Center for prophylactic treatment.

Community updates will be provided, as needed.

UMaine’s communicable disease surveillance policy is online.

Members of the UMaine community with questions or concerns can contact Dick Young, ryoung@maine.edu.

Community update: Pertussis diagnosis on campus, Sept 5, 2019

A case of pertussis, or whooping cough, has been diagnosed in the University of Maine community and has been reported to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The individual, an employee who works in a nonacademic building, exhibited pertussis-like symptoms and has received medical treatment. At this time, no other cases have been reported on campus and based on the medical risks assessment of the single diagnosis, no intervention has been advised for the university.

Updates will be provided, as needed.


Campus Communicable Disease Surveillance Policy, Jan. 3, 2019

The University of Maine follows state and national mandates regarding infectious diseases, notifiable communicable health conditions and community outbreaks as directed by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MeCDC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition, UMaine has a standard operating procedure for outbreaks of communicable illness prevalent in college campus populations.

An outbreak is generally defined as when a disease occurs in greater numbers than expected in a community or region, or during a season. An outbreak may occur in one community, or extend to several regions or countries. Sometimes, one or two cases of a contagious disease is considered an outbreak, depending on the illness and its ability to spread.

In the event of an illness outbreak, UMaine will issue community health advisories, including prevention information and efforts, and relevant fact sheets, and will identify a UMaine contact person for more information.

UMaine community advisories related to health and safety are a component of the university’s emergency communications system. Advisory formats include email, social media and the UMaine website in a timely manner, providing emergent information and links to resources. Updates will be made as they become available, and through the guidance of state and federal authorities, when necessary.