Friday Futurecast — August 28

Health and safety update for university community members

Welcome to this week’s Friday Futurecast, providing the latest updates on our plans for fall, how we are preparing, and what to expect.

These updates are archived on the UMaine Return to Campus website. The University of Maine at Machias also has a Return to Campus website.

Message from President Joan Ferrini-Mundy: 

Thank you to all who have been planning all summer, to all who participated in testing over the past few days and weeks, and specifically to the faculty who have been preparing to begin the fall 2020 semester on Monday. Our focus next week is on launching the university’s academic programs, with commitment to the high-quality learning experiences to which UMaine has long been committed. This fall, teaching will happen in many modalities, and faculty understand that it is their responsibility to be flexible and ready to deliver instruction in multiple ways, so that we advance learning for all of our students.

Wishing you all the best for a great start to fall 2020!

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • The town of Orono passed an emergency ordinance Aug. 26 requiring the use of face coverings in all public places, and written operations plans from residential housing complexes detailing compliance with all CDC guidelines relating to shared and congregate housing. The ordinance is online.

  • UMaine, Orono and Old Town are co-hosting a virtual community town hall on Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 5:30–7 p.m. The link to the livestream: https://youtu.be/ukKgHvr4nGI.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • Currently, UMaine has six known COVID-19 cases in Maine CDC isolation. The UMS dashboard and daily updates on cases are on the Together for Maine website.

  • Number of asymptomatic tests completed at UMaine:

    • 516 negative tests July–Aug. 21

    • 558 negative tests Aug. 24

      • 25 blank, rejected or in process — retests being scheduled

    • 515 negative tests Aug. 25

      • 19 blank or in process — retests being scheduled

    • 316 negative tests Aug. 26 (as of late today)

      • 172 blank or in process — retests being scheduled

    • More than 2,400 scheduled to complete phase one of testing through this weekend

  • Number of asymptomatic tests completed at UMM: 28 on Aug. 17 and 80 on Aug. 27

  • Students who missed their test dates and times this week need to reschedule by emailing um.covidtesting@maine.edu.

  • Students are reminded that the Student Conduct Code applies regardless of location in cases of conduct when the alleged incident or conduct seriously threatens any educational process, the legitimate function of the university, and/or the health or safety of any individual. That means that on-campus and off-campus events that break the rules and put others in harm’s way will be managed, as appropriate, through the conduct process. Simply put, please do not host parties and always maintain social distancing. Events subject to the Student Conduct Code include on-campus functions, fraternity or sorority events, gatherings in public or open spaces, and parties and events hosted in private residences or venues. Violations will be taken seriously and are subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

In-person, on-campus experiences and other learning modes

  • This fall, 41% of undergraduate class sections are being offered in person. Currently, 72% of degree-seeking undergraduate students are enrolled in at least one in-person course.

  • Fall Convocation will be virtual this year. The Sept. 1 event will be livestreamed: https://youtu.be/QcFpVJwDDc4. The theme: The University of Maine in Fall 2020:  Learning, Discovering, and Partnering with Inclusive Excellence as the Core. Pre-event music begins at 3:15 p.m., Convocation begins at 3:30 p.m. featuring an address by President Joan Ferrini-Mundy and reflections by student, faculty, staff and alumni representatives. Closed captioning available.

  • UMaine Student Life’s Center for Student Involvement has a full slate of activities for engagement on campus and virtually — from the Welcome Week events since Monday to events Thursday–Saturday night next week. Sept. 4, the Red Sox game will be livestreamed on the Mall in keeping with health and safety protocols. Keep up with all the involvement options by watching the center’s Instagram and Facebook.

  • UMM’s Fall Welcome kicked off today with a schedule of primarily virtual programming, and will continue through Monday with a variety of outdoor and socially distanced activities, including a movie night, sundae social and scavenger hunt. The full schedule is online.

  • In Machias, the Murdock Fitness Center has reopened to students and staff with limited hours of operation: Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m.–noon. New health and safety rules will be posted at the entryway and visitors will answer a set of COVID-19 symptom screening questions to be admitted.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • As of Aug. 30, the University of Maine will complete phase one of the on-campus COVID-19 testing for all University of Maine residential and out-of-state students coming to campus, and students involved in special group activities, including clinicals and internships. Phase two testing for these same students will be held Monday–Thursday, Aug. 31–Sept. 3, and Sept. 7–8. Students will receive emails for their phase two testing dates and times. That email will serve as their documentation for teaching faculty to account for any class time missed due to the phase two testing schedule. We expect phase two testing to take minimal time to complete with each student and no quarantine is required pending test results. Faculty with questions or concerns regarding the testing process can contact um.covidtesting@maine.edu

  • Reminder: We all are expected to wear face coverings at all times, including in the classroom. Eating and drinking in classrooms won’t be possible, but instructors can include breaks for people to go outside and eat or drink while maintaining 6-foot distance from others.

High-quality learning in the pandemic context

  • Faculty and graduate teaching assistants teaching in any modality who require support from IT, CITL and/or AV Services can reach those resources as follows. Call volume may be heavy during the first two weeks of classes. We will address your concerns as quickly as possible. 

    • IT  — 207.581.2506; 800.696.4357; help@maine.edu. For those issues that cannot be resolved on first contact, IT has three targets for response time. For critical issues that require immediate response, the target response time is 5 minutes. For other issues, the target response period is either 30 minutes or 4 hours, depending on the level of impact on faculty and students, and on the service that is disrupted by the issue.

    • CITL — 581.3333; citl@maine.edu. Response within 2 minutes Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. for in-person classes.

    • AV Services — 207.581.2506; 800.696.4357; help@maine.edu. The target response is within 5 minutes when the issue impacts a class in session. For other issues, as soon as possible, depending on available personnel.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • Fogler Library is open on-site to all University of Maine System patrons. To enter, swipe your MaineCard at the entrance facing the Memorial Union. Many library departments continue to provide remote assistance for anyone not on campus. More information about Fogler’s return to campus policies and procedures are online.