Friday Futurecast — May 7

Health and safety update for university community members

Welcome to this week’s Friday Futurecast

These updates are archived on the UMaine COVID-19 website. The University of Maine at Machias also has a COVID-19 website.

Message from President Joan Ferrini-Mundy:

Dear members of the UMaine and UMM communities,

Thank you for all you’ve done this semester. We have shared a lot of information in the 44 Friday Futurecasts that have been circulated since June 12, 2020. We look forward to the summer and fall, and will continue to monitor the latest evidence-based health and safety guidance, and take the next steps.

Our communities can continue to watch for the latest COVID-19-related updates on the UMaine and UMM websites. We will send periodical (but not weekly) Futurecasts over the summer, and will communicate any information needed throughout the summer and into the fall semester.

Congratulations to our graduates! Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday! And to all, please stay safe and healthy, and have a wonderful summer.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • UMaine virologist Melissa Maginnis participated in a Northern Light Business to Business Zoom webinar yesterday, “What are the top five reasons for getting the COVID-19 vaccine?” She was joined in the session by UMaine students in microbiology Remi Geohegan and Emily McLaughlin. The recording is online.

  • A FEMA Mobile Vaccination Unit will be at the Old Town Public Safety Building, 150 Brunswick St., from 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. May 22 and 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. May 23–25. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available by appointment or on a walk-in basis for people ages 18 and older. To make an appointment, call the Community Vaccination Line, 1.888.445.4111 or visit vaccinateme.maine.gov.

  • Reminder: A second vaccination clinic on campus, in partnership with Penobscot Community Health Center, will be held from 1–3 p.m. May 26 in Wells Conference Center. 

  • Phase seven COVID-19 asymptomatic testing on our campuses and at UMaine facilities statewide begins next week and continues throughout the summer. All UMaine and UMM community members who submit bona fide verification of vaccination can be exempted from asymptomatic testing by uploading their vaccination cards to the UMS PointnClick Web App. At UMaine, weekly COVID testing at Alfond Arena is scheduled from noon–5 p.m. Tuesdays and 6:30 a.m.–noon Wednesdays for students and employees with a campus presence and/or working on campus. Your COVID-19 testing appointment is scheduled and UMS COVID-19 Summer Testing consent form is completed by login into PointnClick. The UMS Summer Testing consent form is accessed from the left hand side drop-down menu; select forms and complete. Then select the blue box labeled “Schedule a COVID-19 Testing appointment” and follow the instructions to schedule your appointment date and time. Second- and third-shift workers should coordinate testing appointments with their supervisors. Anyone working at UMaine sites statewide will continue to participate in prearranged asymptomatic testing unless exempted by proof of vaccination. If you continue COVID-19 testing for the summer, you must complete the UMS COVID-19 Summer Testing consent form. For help with PointnClick, email help@maine.edu. The summer testing schedule is subject to change.

  • At UMM, phase seven testing in Sennett Hall will be offered 10 a.m.–noon Tuesdays and 2–4 p.m. Thursdays. More information about summer testing is online.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • The University of Maine System’s guidance for summer activities on our campuses and at our facilities statewide is online and will include ongoing updates.

  • Reminder: All UMaine summer events and activities (May 1–Aug. 1) will require adherence to policies and safeguards that minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections. This summer 2021 events checklist is provided to event coordinators through UMaine’s event planning website. Each event planning form captures the nature of the event and point of contact, and has a checklist guide for conducting safe activities. The event request will be processed and returned to the applicant with the necessary approval, denial or request for further information. The event also will be evaluated to ascertain if Emergency Operations Center involvement is necessary and if the President’s Office should be notified due to the event’s unique nature. More information is available by emailing um.eventrequest@maine.edu

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

  • The first Summer University session begins this Monday, May 10. Enrollment is up over 5,400, a 17% increase over last year. More information about Summer University, including Summer Start for first-year students, is online.

  • Fogler Library summer hours begin May 8. Visit the library website for building and departmental hours, and COVID-19 policies and procedures.

  • This week in UMaine Athletics, the baseball and softball teams each will host home series in Orono. Softball will complete its weekend series with a doubleheader against UAlbany, beginning on Saturday at noon. Saturday will be Senior Day for the softball team as the Black Bears will take a moment prior to the first game to recognize the senior class. All softball games will be broadcast on ESPN3. Baseball will host UMass Lowell for four games, with doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday each starting at noon. All UMaine baseball games can be seen at AmericaEast.TV and heard worldwide on the Black Bears Sports Network. Reminder: No spectators are permitted at home games, following health and safety guidelines.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • Monday, May 31 and Monday, July 5 are paid UMS holidays, recognizing Memorial Day and Independence Day, respectively. In appreciation for your hard work through the pandemic, the Chancellor announced this week that Friday, May 28 and Friday, July 2 are now also paid administrative holidays. We recognize that with shorter summer sessions, it may not be possible or desirable to alter course plans on those days. Our faculty who are teaching summer session courses may therefore choose whether or how to accommodate the May 28 and July 2 holidays in alignment with their pedagogical goals and the needs of their students. We also recognize that some members of our university communities have responsibilities that require them to work these extended weekends to maintain our campuses, care for residential students and provide public safety, among others. Those who must work on the administrative holiday should consult their applicable collective bargaining agreement or employee handbook for details on taking alternative time off or receiving appropriate administrative holiday pay. We all need to remember with gratitude those who continue in these capacities even as many of us take well-deserved time off.

  • The UMM Counseling Center will be open until June 11 and reopen Aug. 16, and can help with referring students to off-campus counselors over the summer. This is a link to find a counselor in Maine. Noncrisis mental health resources include: SilverCloud Mental Health Tool; Anxiety/Depression Information; LGBTQ Information; Mental Health Assessment; Self-Care/Stress Reduction Information; Substance Abuse Information; Veteran Information

  • The UMaine Counseling Center will be open this summer to provide telehealth services to students enrolled in one or more classes throughout Summer University. The Counseling Center will be closed July 1–19; information about accessing urgent care is online. To inquire about services and/or to make an appointment for a consultation, call 207.581.1392, 9 a.m.–noon and 1–4 p.m. Monday–Friday. The center’s website includes many valuable resources and links.  

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • UMaine is offering a hybrid commencement experience this year to honor graduates from 2020 and 2021. More than 800 graduates from both classes participated in stage walk events hosted April 23, April 26–29 and May 3 in the Collins Center for the Arts. During the stage walk events, graduates were able to process across the stage, have their names read and photographs taken. Video of the stage walk events will be included in UMaine’s virtual commencement ceremonies that will be available in late May. Information about commencement activities, including features on the valedictorian, salutatorian, outstanding students, faculty award winners, virtual graduate school hooding ceremony and college celebrations can be found on the commencement website. A news release about UMaine commencement is online.

  • UMM’s in-person stage walk is scheduled for 2 p.m.tomorrow, May 8 with 2021 and 2020 graduates who have registered to participate. This portion of the ceremony will be livestreamed and the full video will be available later in the month. 

  • April 23, UMS held a listening session, “UMS Transforms: Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” focused on collectively identifying barriers and challenges we need to understand and address so that we are successful in implementing and maintaining UMS TRANSFORMS with DEI at the core. A recording from the event is on the UMS TRANSFORMS website. Whether you attended the workshop and have additional thoughts, or were unable to participate, we encourage you to share your ideas via this survey, which mirrors some of the questions asked during the event. Your thoughts will be collected anonymously, and along with the input we captured live will inform the work moving forward.

  • A recording and materials from the May 4 Virtual Budget Town Hall are online.