What is the latest COVID-19 health and safety guidance for UMaine and UMaine Machias communities?

Effective May 24, the University of Maine System’s COVID-19 health and safety guidance includes changes regarding face coverings, physical distancing, general group size limits on our campuses, and in our offices and facilities statewide. This updated guidance is important for our in-person courses, research and programs this summer in Orono and Machias, and at sites statewide.

The UMS health and safety updates are all on the Together for Maine website, and include information for residential students, and testing and quarantine exemptions for fully vaccinated UMaine and UMaine Machias community members. Among the highlights:

  • Face coverings: Face coverings are not required when outdoors on university property, regardless of vaccination status. They continue to be required at all times by everyone when indoors on university property or in university-administered facilities. Current exceptions to the university’s indoor face covering requirement include when a person is alone in an office or other room with a closed door; eating or drinking in a space where eating or drinking is permitted; a medical accommodation has been granted by appropriate university officials; a situation (i.e., child care settings) or a person (i.e., children younger than 2) is specifically exempted by Maine civil authorities; or in other special circumstances as may be determined by campus leadership.

  • Physical distancing: The UMS general physical distancing requirement has been removed in keeping with and except as otherwise required by Maine civil authorities. 

  • General group size limits: UMS has removed all pandemic-related group gathering limits, in keeping with the guidance of Maine civil authorities. UMaine and UMaine Machias will continue to limit group gatherings on campus for any specific university event or gathering below this maximum level as circumstances warrant.

  • Testing: Proactive asymptomatic testing continues for in-person students and employees; fully vaccinated individuals may be exempted from routine testing. For special summer programs, testing also will be required for those staying overnight for three or more consecutive nights in a university facility or university-administered program. Individual programs should be contacted for specific applicable requirements. 

  • Public access to campus: While pandemic protocols overall are being lifted, each UMS campus may yet be curtailing access to various facilities, such as fitness facilities, bookstores, libraries and other centers. University dining facilities are not open to the public at this time. At UMaine, the Bear’s Den is open for all campus community members, including summer camp participants. Members of the public are encouraged to confirm in advance with the campus they are visiting that they will be able to carry out the purpose of their visit. 

  • Wastewater testing: Wastewater testing continues on campus. During the summer, testing will occur weekly for UMaine, University of Southern Maine and the town of Orono. More information is online.

In this, the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask all members of the UMaine and UMaine Machias communities to continue to follow the latest health and safety guidance, and remain vigilant. As throughout the pandemic, guidelines are subject to changes as conditions warrant.