Friday Futurecast — August 27

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 UMaine Machias communities,

In June 2020, we launched Friday Futurecast as a way to provide the latest updates on our plans for fall, how we were preparing and what to expect in the context of the growing pandemic. Its introduction came a week after the release of the “Framework for Reopening Maine’s Colleges and Universities in Fall 2020,” which included six guiding principles for resuming in-person, on-campus experiences and other learning modes. Those principles provide the structure of our weekly updates as we work to advance vibrant learning opportunities for our students, support our faculty and staff in all the essential work they do, and continue our mission of engagement in the community and with partners statewide and beyond.

We continue to do it all during a pandemic that is ongoing, which makes it critical that we remain vigilant and follow COVID-19 health and safety guidance for the well-being of everyone.

With weekly Friday Futurecasts, we’ll highlight the newest information you need to know. All of our COVID-19-related updates will continue to be posted on the UMaine and UMM websites.

Stay safe and healthy. Welcome to the start of our fall in-person semester.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • Public COVID-19 vaccination clinics, offered in partnership with Penobscot Community Health Center, will be held at UMaine in Coe Room, Memorial Union, from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. on Wednesdays — September 1, 8, 15, 22, providing the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. At UMaine Machias, there will be two public vaccination clinics, offered in partnership with Eastport Health Care, from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. on Sept. 9 and Oct. 7 in the Reynolds Center, providing the one-shot Johnson & Johnson and two-shot Moderna vaccines. At all campus-based clinics, no appointment is necessary and there is no charge for the vaccine. If you are seeking your second dose of a vaccine, please bring your vaccination card to the clinic. More information about the UMaine and UMaine Machias clinics is online.

  • UMaine and UMaine Machias phase nine, return-to-campus COVID-19 asymptomatic T3 saliva testing is Sept. 7–Dec. 14. The UMaine testing location is the ballroom on the first floor of Estabrooke Hall; at UMaine Machias, it is the Clipper Lounge in Sennett Hall. University community members with an in-person presence on the campuses or at a university-affiliated facility/research site who are not fully vaccinated and verified, as well as those who have a vaccination exemption, are required to participate. Anyone who wishes to be tested may do so. Every week, participants will schedule their test appointment days and times by logging into PointnClick, the University of Maine System online COVID-19 portal. T3 saliva test results are typically available within 36 hours in PointnClick.

  • The Black Bears Care and Clippers Care pacts continue to be important for our community health and well-being.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • If you or people you know in the UMaine or UMaine Machias communities have concerns about COVID-19 symptoms, close contact or a positive test, please fill out the online self-reporting form. For more information or assistance, call the COVID-19 info line, 207.581.2681 or email umaine.alerts@maine.edu.

  • A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Full vaccination for UMaine and UMaine Machias community members is verified by uploading vaccination cards in PointnClick.

  • Residential and nonresidential students who are not fully vaccinated and deemed a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual or who are themselves COVID-19 positive must quarantine or isolate off campus as directed and not return to campus until cleared to do so. Fully vaccinated students who are deemed close contacts do not have to quarantine if they are asymptomatic; they must isolate if they are COVID-19 positive. We have very limited space available in university locations for on-site quarantine and isolation. To request to isolate or quarantine on campus, students must complete this form; for questions, write um.reslife@maine.edu. More information is online.

  • Reminder: The Together for Maine website has a UMS COVID-19 asymptomatic testing summary and a new UMS vaccination verification chart.

  • Nearly 20,000 UMS employees and students have verified vaccinations, with the high rates of vaccination among full-time employees and residential students. As of Aug. 25, more than 76% of UMaine full-time employees and nearly 89% of residential students; and more than 68% of UMaine Machias full-time employees and nearly 77% of residential students had verified vaccinations recorded in PointnClick

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

  • University Bookstore hours at UMaine: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28–29; 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Thursday, Aug. 30–Sept. 2; 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 3. The bookstore is closed Saturday–Monday, Sept. 4–6. Textbook reservations are closed, but textbooks are available for purchase in store. Bookstore staff are available to help students find the books they need for class.

  • UMaine field hockey officially begins its season with two games this weekend. The Black Bears will travel to take on No. 7 Boston College at 1 p.m. on Saturday — watch live on the ACC Network — before traveling to UMass Amherst for a game at 1 p.m. on Sunday, being broadcast on ESPN+. Women’s soccer also is in action this week when they travel to meet Bryant on Sunday for a game at 1 p.m., with coverage provided by NEC Front Row. Make sure to get tickets to next Thursday’s football home opener as the Black Bears host Delaware at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online or by calling 207.581.BEAR. All students will receive a free white T-shirt as we look to “Whiteout” Alfond Stadium on opening night. UMaine Athletics will recognize all first responders and health heroes, and there will be a special postgame fireworks display.

  • Check out all Week of Welcome events online. Attend the Honors Read Lecture from 3:30–5 p.m. Aug. 31 in Hauck Auditorium by Wayne Maines, father of Nicole Maines, a transgender woman whose individual and family story is recounted in the 2021 Honors Read, “Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family.”

  • Planning a UMaine event? Please fill out the online event management form. At UMaine Machias, please contact community events coordinator Tracy Ingersoll, tracy.ingersoll@maine.edu.

  • This is a link to the 2021–22 academic year calendar.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • Students who need to request an exemption to the vaccine requirement for a documented medical contraindication or a sincerely held religious belief can go to the PointnClick portal. Additionally, those in a higher risk category, have severe illness or underlying health conditions or have other applicable circumstances that may impact their ability to be vaccinated or comply with any pandemic protocols may contact the University of Maine System American with Disabilities Act coordinator, adacoordinator@maine.edu.

  • IT has updated remote teaching and learning resources online.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • More than 3,500 students are moving into residence halls this weekend. Our incoming undergraduate classes at UMaine and UMaine Machias, including first-years and transfers, are currently 2,730 and 116 — up 5.2% and 38%, respectively, from 2020. Graduate School enrollment this fall is at an all-time high, with more than 2,500 graduate students expected — a 10% increase over last year. These early overall enrollment numbers include more than 430 international students. We are welcoming more than 100 new international undergraduate and graduate students to UMaine and UMaine Machias this fall.

  • Our thanks to the countless UMaine and UMaine Machias faculty and staff involved in our summer programs statewide, including UMaine Extension teams who served nearly 1,300 youths ages 4 to 18 at our four 4-H Learning Centers and Camps; and Summer University faculty who led 656 course sections for more than 4,000 students.