UMS/UMaine and UMM COVID-19 updates on remote instruction, residential students, March 11

Dear colleagues, students and community members at the University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias:

Today, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, prompting the University of Maine System to transition to remote instruction for classes on all campuses for the remainder of the semester, effective March 23.

At the time of this writing, there are no known cases of coronavirus in Maine. Our goal is to do all that we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our community.

In his letter issued today, Chancellor Dan Malloy outlined the following directives, which will be in effect until further notice and will be regularly reviewed. All previous UMS public health directives and restrictions remain in place. A UMS news release also outlines the directives:

  • Effective March 23, UMS universities will transition all in-class academic instruction to online or other pedagogically appropriate distance modalities that do not require in-class presence for the remainder of the spring semester. Graduate, clinical and similarly situated students should be transitioned to remote work, if possible. Individual universities, colleges and departments should provide all material assistance and accommodation possible through this transition.

  • As part of the University of Maine System’s public health commitment to reduce exposure and the threat of virus spread, UMS universities will notify on-campus residential students to make plans to depart campus by March 22 with personal and educational belongings necessary to complete their semester requirements remotely. Students who have already departed campus will be given opportunities to return to collect necessary belongings at an appropriate time. Residential and meal plan options will be available for those who must remain in or return to their on-campus residence during or from spring break due to extenuating personal circumstances, and those students should be advised to prepare for limited on-campus activity and interaction. In order to return to their on-campus residences, students who leave Maine for spring break must register their travel plans and will be subject to quarantine or self-isolation measures on their return.

  • UMS universities will remain open and operational, with appropriate measures implemented (such as social distancing) to protect community health according to applicable CDC guidelines and recommendations. Employees will continue to report to work unless instructed otherwise or work-from-home accommodations are developed on a case-by-case basis. Each university should determine appropriate communication of these measures for their campus-based employees.

The University of Maine follows the public health protocols of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Maine Center for Disease Control and the Maine Emergency Management Agency. Our primary concerns are safety and doing all that we can to limit the spread of this virus and protect our community.

University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias community members can call the COVID-19 information line — 207.581.2681 — for campus and UMS updates, answers to frequently asked questions, and information on resources. This information line, based in the Division of Student Life, also serves the University of Maine System.

Questions also can be emailed to umaine.alerts@maine.edu and will be answered as soon as possible.

If you have been asked to self-isolate by a medical provider in relation to coronavirus and are awaiting test results, please voluntarily contact Richard Young (ryoung@maine.edu; 207.356.2518) to help inform the UMaine or UMM communities.

Serving our students, and ensuring the health, safety and welfare of our university community members are our utmost priorities. Stay safe. We will keep you updated as information and further guidance are available and we know that you have many questions. This is a dynamic situation and we will be developing answers to all questions as quickly as possible.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will provide updates whenever they are available.

President Joan Ferrini-Mundy