Friday Futurecast — September 3

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,

The energy is high this first week of the fall semester on our campuses as students, faculty and staff engage in in-person classes, events, and research- and other work-related activities. So many people have commented on the success of Wednesday’s Student Organization Fair, which featured more than 100 student groups and many enthusiastic participants during the four-hour event on the Mall. We look forward to the Student Organization Fair at UMaine Machias on Sept. 15.

We also received some very good news this week: there have been 20,650 vaccination card uploads by in-person students, faculty and staff on University of Maine System campuses to PointnClick, the University of Maine System online COVID-19 portal. As of Sept. 2, more than 77% of UMaine full-time employees and 93% of residential students; and nearly 70% of UMaine Machias full-time employees and more than 84% of residential students have verified vaccinations recorded in PointnClick. Please don’t forget to upload your vaccination cards as you receive your vaccine doses. Vaccination and face coverings continue to be our most important and effective health and safety measures in the pandemic.

We continue in the spirit of the Black Bears Care and Clippers Care pacts, doing all we can, individually and collectively, to maintain the well-being of our communities. And for that, I thank you.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • UMS is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Maine public health guidelines requiring quarantine and isolation. Members of the in-person community who are determined to have experienced a close contact COVID-19 exposure will be required to quarantine for 10 days assuming they remain asymptomatic. Individuals who are fully vaccinated and who have no symptoms are not required to quarantine if asymptomatic, but are required to monitor themselves for symptoms and to wear a face covering for 14 days after contact. Individuals who are confirmed positive are required to isolate for 10 days. Individuals arriving from international destinations must follow CDC and civil authority guidance and requirements. 

  • Reminder: Please schedule your COVID-19 T3 test through PointnClick. UMaine and UMaine Machias phase nine, return-to-campus COVID-19 asymptomatic testing starts Tuesday and continues through 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. T3 saliva test results are typically available within 36 hours in PointnClick.

  • Reminder: 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 — Sept. 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.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • Students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 should self-report using the online form. All students should have a quarantine or isolation plan. The university has a limited number of isolation spaces that those in campus housing can request for isolation. Off-campus students should create a plan to isolate in place or go home. Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to be quarantined as a close contact, but should monitor symptoms and get tested, if symptoms occur, at a local health care provider. Students who test positive for COVID-19 and need to isolate for 10 days should contact professors to get class work. 

  • Reminder: Face coverings are required for all persons — students, employees and visitors — when indoors at a university facility. All updated health and safety protocols are online. Students who fail to follow COVID-19 protocols will result in a referral to the Office of Community Standards, Rights, and Responsibilities (Student Conduct).

  • The PointnClick portal now includes a Medical Clearances link to verify immunization and COVID-19 testing compliance. The UMS PointnClick COVID-19 Vaccination & Compliance Verification User Guide is online, providing guidance on uploading vaccination cards. For support with the UMS PointnClick Web App, contact the US:IT help desk.

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

  • The 20th anniversary of 9/11 will be observed at noon on Sept. 10 on the Mall with a moment of silence and a reflection from Capt. James Settele. The Division of Student Life also will organize a Mall display of the names of the 9/11 victims.

  • UMaine Center for Student Involvement offers weekly programs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Check out the UMaine calendar for other events. UMaine Machias Office of Student Life and Activities events are online. They include the annual Welcome Back Fair featuring UMaine Machias student clubs and organizations, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Sept. 15. 

  • Catch the first School of Performing Arts free public event of the season: the Silver Duo with special guest Elizabeth Downing at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, Minsky Recital Hall. 

  • This weekend in UMaine Athletics, field hockey hosts Providence College at 2 p.m on Saturday. The game will be live on ESPN+. On Sunday, the women’s soccer team returns home to host Quinnipiac. at 1 p.m. and will be live on ESPN+.

  • The Collins Center for the Arts is gearing up to present an abridged season that includes two family shows, and performances by comedian Jay Leno, and musicians John McCutcheon, Robert Cray and Martina McBride. Chamber music concerts and two broadcast series — The Met Live in HD and NT Live — will round out the CCA calendar. The season will wrap up with Anne of Green Gables — The Ballet. Details are on the Collins for the Arts website

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • UMaine and UMaine Machias are now institutional members of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), a nationally recognized professional development, training and mentoring community. NCFDD provides online career development and mentoring resources for faculty, postdocs and graduate students. For information on how to activate a free membership, contact associate provost Jessica Miller, jessica.miller@maine.edu

  • MaineStreet launched Student Center: Resources for Students last month, offering an improved interface that is user-friendly, easy to navigate and mobile compatible. The new center makes it easier for students to view their grades and schedules, search and register for courses, create course planners, pay bills online, check degree progress reports and more. 

  • The websites of the UMaine and UMaine Machias Counseling Centers provide information about hours of operation to services, resources and upcoming events.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • Community spaces and facilities such as libraries, museums, gyms, retail stores, computer labs and study halls are open and operating. All visitors are required to wear a face covering at all times inside university facilities. Visitors should check with a particular event or facility prior to visiting to confirm the protocols that may be in place in those specific instances. 

  • All visitors are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated before visiting any university facility and should be aware that a vaccination card or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test may be requested to access or enter certain university facilities, events, activities or campus generally in certain circumstances. Specific requirements for visitors will be posted prominently on the appropriate university websites. To the extent practicable, activity or venue specific requirements will generally be posted with event notices and promotional materials. Those who are not eligible by age to receive a vaccination and visitors asserting a religious objection or medical contraindication to vaccination will be allowed to present a negative COVID-19 test instead of proof of vaccination. In the event of a visitor relying on a negative COVID-19 test, it must be from within 72 hours prior to the individual’s presence on campus. Visitors with questions or concerns should check in advance with the facility, event or activity organizers regarding any specific protocols for the facility, event or activity of interest. More information is on the UMS Together for Maine website.