Friday Futurecast — December 11

Health and safety update for university community members

Welcome to this week’s Friday Futurecast.

These updates are archived on the UMaine Fall ’20–Spring ’21 website. The University of Maine at Machias also has a Fall ’20–Spring ’21 website.

Message from President Joan Ferrini-Mundy:

Dear members of the UMaine and UMM communities,

As we conclude classes for the semester today and enter the final exam period I wish faculty, staff, and students all the best as the semester ends. I thank all members of our community, once again, for helping us reach this point, having cared for ourselves, one another, and our community. This collective effort to support one another through so many personal and professional challenges, while at the same time supporting the state, using science, and continuing learning has been an extraordinary demonstration of innovation and dedication, perseverance and compassion, and flexibility and collaboration on the part of all.

As members of the UMaine and UMM communities prepare for the winter break, we hope that all will remember the important health and safety guidance we asked Black Bears and Clippers to follow to allow us to offer in-person classes, and to maintain personal and community well-being. COVID-19 community transmission has rapidly increased in Maine and the nation. So, too, have our number of positive cases, with the largest incidence occurring in students living off campus. Do plan for how you will spend the coming weeks before the second semester begins. Build in some time for connecting and for decompressing, safely. This has been a very stressful several months. Stay connected with UMaine and UMM as we continue to plan and prepare for Winter Session and the spring semester.

Be sure to take a look at Chancellor Malloy’s Dec. 10 message titled “On Track for Maine.”  UMaine and UMM join in the plan to begin and conduct the second semester as we did this fall, knowing that, as we watch the course of the pandemic in Maine, we will be ready to adjust our plans to be sure that the health of our communities comes first. Watch for an update by Jan. 4, 2021.

Have a great weekend.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • As of today, UMaine has administered more than 21,200 COVID-19 tests on campus and responded to 84 positive cases; UMM administered more than 700 tests on campus with one positive case. Now more than ever, wherever you are living and pursuing your personal and professional lives, we must remain vigilant in our health and safety practices. In the event you have tested positive or may have had close contact with a positive case, please use the online self-reporting form.

  • UMM continues to serve as a DHHS swab-and-send testing site from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. every Monday through the week of Jan. 25. More information about the testing site, which is free and open to the public, is online. Advance appointments are strongly encouraged, but walk-ins will not be turned away.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • The UMaine Counseling Center offers some tips for a restorative winter break. The team notes the importance of drawing a line between work as students and employees, and our lives outside of school and work. Even though we cannot be together with our families in the ways we have all of our lives, there are ways to rest, refresh and rejuvenate. Embrace the winter break time and use it to intentionally replenish your energies. More information is on the Counseling Center website.

  • UMM is offering Zoom sessions to help with coping and relaxation during finals week, all at 3 p.m. Monday–Thursday: tension release, meditation, laugh out loud and progressive muscle relaxation.

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

  • The Keep Learning website now includes a live chat feature for answering questions.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • Reminder: UMM will host a virtual open house for prospective students and their families at 6 p.m. on Dec. 17. More information is online

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • UMaine winter athletics competition has resumed, adhering to our health and safety practices, following civil guidance, and aligned with the requirements of the NCAA and its athletic conferences. All games will be streamed live. The varsity competition schedules and streaming information can be found on goblackbears.com. We will update competition information regularly if there are changes due to the uncertainties we face with COVID-19. Women’s basketball took to the court at Providence last night with a 62–48 win. Watch them play URI tonight at 6.