Friday Futurecast — October 1

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,

I want to take this opportunity to thank the talented health care providers at Northern Light Cutler Health Center, Penobscot Community Health Center and Eastport Health Care who continue to be critical community partners with our universities throughout this pandemic. With their support, we have provided campus-based vaccination clinics that are essential to the well-being of our communities. 

In our School of Nursing, more than 420 students, including 60 who graduated early in 2020–21, ready to enter the workforce, have responded to the pandemic, working in health care settings, and helping at testing sites and vaccination clinics. Also serving on the front lines have been the School of Nursing’s 15 full-time and 30 part-time faculty, and four staff, some of whom worked in health care settings statewide in response to the state’s needs and all of whom helped train UMaine’s undergraduate students in nursing to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.

Since the start of the pandemic, UMaine School of Nursing students have administered thousands of COVID-19 tests and influenza vaccines on campus and in the community. To date, it is estimated that School of Nursing students, faculty and staff have been responsible for administering nearly 10,000 COVID-19 vaccinations statewide.

For all that these health care workers are doing to keep us safe — thank you. You are true pandemic heroes.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • Today, UMS posted updated health and safety guidance on the status of visitor access and protocols, visitor and event vaccination requirements, pandemic protocols generally, and overall university operations for the fall.
  • Northern Light Cutler Health Center is offering the first UMaine employee flu clinic of the 2021 season tomorrow, Oct. 2. Access the drive-thru clinic via Hilltop Road to Gannett Road. The clinic will be staged in the Gannett Road parking lot adjacent to Cutler Health Center. To schedule your visit, follow this link: umaine.edu/flushot. Complete the consent form and bring it and your Cigna insurance card to your appointment. Students should call 207.581.4000 to schedule their flu shot. Dependent children covered under the Cigna insurance plan, retirees and employees who do not participate with the Cigna insurance plan should contact their PCP for flu shot availability.  
  • Members of the UMaine Machias community are encouraged to get flu shots at local health care facilities or pharmacies, or from their primary care physicians. 
  • UMaine will offer public COVID-19 vaccination clinics from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 in the Coe Room, Memorial Union, providing the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Vaccination cards are required if receiving second doses or boosters. Pfizer booster shots are being provided for those who qualify: 
    • Students who are six months out from their second Pfizer shot, and live in a residence hall or apartment with others
    • Individuals 65 years of age and older
    • Individuals 18 through 64 years of age with medical conditions at high risk of severe COVID-19
  • At UMaine Machias, the next public COVID-19 vaccination clinic is 9 a.m.–3 p.m. on Oct. 7 in the Reynolds Center, providing the one-shot Johnson & Johnson and two-shot Moderna vaccines. At all campus-based vaccination 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 

  • UMS announced yesterday that efforts are underway to assist 1,098 students who must come into compliance with the vaccination mandate by Oct. 15 or face withdrawal from classes at the end of October with no refund. At UMaine, our outreach efforts are focused on 351 nonresidential students and 28 residential students who have not acted. At UMaine Machias, we work diligently to support the two residence hall students and 24 students living off campus who must act before Oct. 15.
  • Cutler Health Center and the university’s COVID Operations Group have seen an increase in the number of community members experiencing mild symptoms that they assume are due to seasonal allergies or a cold. Some symptoms are not related to COVID, but some are. We remind all members of our university communities who are in-person on campus and in our facilities statewide to please stay home if you are sick with any illness. If you have the flu or a cold, or are positive for COVID-19, you can infect others in close contact, even if you and others are fully vaccinated. Weekly testing at UMaine’s Estabrooke Hall and UMaine Machias’ Sennett Hall is for asymptomatic community members and can be scheduled via PointnClick. If symptomatic, please seek a test at Cutler Health Center or your primary care physician.
  • Reminder: the latest UMS COVID-19 employee vaccination protocols are online.
  • UMS has a face covering guide online.

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

  • UMaine and UMaine Machias undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for Research and Creative Activities Fellowships from the Center for Undergraduate Research. The fellowships support up to $1,500 for a student to conduct faculty-mentored research. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Oct. 15. For more information, email cugr@maine.edu.
  • The Office of International Programs is accepting applications for spring 2022 study abroad programs until Oct. 15. Interested students should email studyabroad@maine.edu.
  • In Black Bear Athletics, the women’s ice hockey team hosts Saint Anselm at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the home opener. The contest will be streamed live on College Sports Live. The men’s ice hockey team will be in action when they travel to Exeter, New Hampshire. to meet Quinnipiac for a neutral site, closed exhibition at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game can be heard live online and throughout Maine on the Black Bears Sports Network. The weekend wraps up with a pair of road contests, beginning when the women’s soccer team meets UAlbany at 2 p.m. on Sunday, live on AmericaEast.TV. The field hockey team meets Boston University in nonconference action at 4 p.m. on Sunday, live on ESPN+.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • UMaine Black Bear Exchange has been selected as the Hannaford Bloomin’ 4 Good nonprofit beneficiary for October. That means Black Bear Exchange will receive $1 for every specially marked $12 Bloomin’ 4 Good fresh flower bouquet purchased at the Old Town Hannaford, 500 Stillwater Ave. UMaine’s food pantry and clothing exchange serves an average of 420 community members every month during the academic year. It will use the proceeds to purchase allergen-free food items not generally available through food drives or the food bank. 

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • The UMaine/UMaine Machias Regional Campus Task Force worked diligently through the spring and summer to develop recommendations that will successfully complete the transition of Machias to a regional campus of Maine’s research and land grant university.  The task force report is now being written.
  • President Ferrini-Mundy will be in Machias attending a campus picnic from 11 a.m–1 p.m. Oct. 6 to visit with the community. At this and future events, students, faculty and staff will be invited to discuss how our two campuses can engage with the UMaine/UMaine Machias Regional Campus Task Force recommendations and participate in the Machias campus brand development work.