COVID-19 Community Update from President Ferrini-Mundy — August 25

Dear University of Maine community members:

I want to update our community on our COVID-19 response and our plans, particularly for this week and next. Our Emergency Operations Center is helping manage phases one and two of our asymptomatic testing process, and our COVID-19 Response Team is continuously monitoring contact tracking and communicating with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of this morning, we have a fourth confirmed positive case — a student who also is a member of the same fraternity as a positive case last week. UMaine now has four positive cases — two students living in the same fraternity house, and two students who share an off-campus apartment.

Students in isolation and quarantine are supported by UMaine and Maine CDC. In his briefing at 2 p.m. today, we expect Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah to discuss our partnership in the ongoing epidemiological investigation involving our community and the work we have been doing to contain the three cases first identified and isolated last week.

Yesterday, on the first day of move-in week, we were scheduled to provide asymptomatic testing to more than 800 residential and out-of-state students; today, we have 750 scheduled for testing. We expect to test upward of 6,000 UMaine out-of-state and residential students by the end of this week.

Pending their asymptomatic test results, these students are in quarantine.

The University of Maine System is conducting campus arrival COVID-19 testing on more than 12,000 asymptomatic students and employees as part of a semester-long, three-phase screening strategy to identify and isolate otherwise undetected incidence of infection. Yesterday, Chancellor Dannel Malloy announced extension of asymptomatic screening strategies and monitoring for the semester. Across the campuses, we will be providing asymptomatic testing to approximately 2,000 students, and staff and faculty members every 10 days through Thanksgiving.

Phase three on our campus also will be led by UMaine’s EOC, which includes the COVID-19 Response Team.

To date, UMaine’s asymptomatic testing that started in July has identified and supported the isolation of one case of COVID-19. The University of Maine System dashboard provides updates on asymptomatic testing results.

Anyone with questions related to the UMaine community can call the COVID information line, 207.581.2681.

Thank you, everyone, for all you are doing to keep our community safe.

We look forward to the start of classes Monday.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy