Friday Futurecast — October 8

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,

Nearly 300 community members participated in Northern Light Cutler Health Center’s drive-thru flu clinic last Saturday. We appreciate the turnout and thank the health center team for providing this important service. An additional campus-based flu clinic is expected after Homecoming weekend and we will keep the community informed.

Our COVID-19 health and safety measures during the pandemic have drawn national attention, most recently in yesterday’s CNN story: “Here’s how one college system kept Covid-19 cases down as they surged throughout the state.” This is a tribute to all in our university communities who are individually mindful and collectively working together for the well-being of all.

Our UMaine and UMaine Machias asymptomatic COVID-19 testing sites on campus continue to have a combined average of around 260 participants weekly. It’s important for all participating in our weekly testing to ensure that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms. Also please remember that, in addition to those required to test weekly, any community members who are fully vaccinated can schedule an asymptomatic test via PointnClick. The Maine CDC offers a concise webpage that provides basic COVID-19 information and popular resources, with good reminders for all of us.

If you are symptomatic, please seek a test at Cutler Health Center or from your primary care physician. Beginning next week, community members also can schedule symptomatic COVID-19 tests via PointnClick, which will be administered outside the Estabrooke Hall testing entrance.

I hope you will take our October break days to enjoy the fall weather, be with those you care about most, and recharge and relax. Please join us in reflecting on the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday and all through the year as we honor, pay respect to and recognize the first inhabitants of the Americas. We all have much to learn from one another. As university communities committed to inclusivity, we must be resolute in our affirmation of social justice, diversity and equity.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • Monday, Oct. 11 is a holiday and there will be no asymptomatic COVID-19 testing on campus at UMaine and UMaine Machias. Testing resumes on Tuesday and should be scheduled via PointnClick.

  • It is recommended that those community members required to participate in asymptomatic campus-based COVID-19 testing schedule their appointments via PointnClick to be on the same days each week. That will help ensure compliance with the seven-day testing requirement.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • Reminder: Students have until Oct. 15 to verify their full vaccinated status or to receive a qualified exemption that requires participation in at least weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. Students who are not in compliance with these requirements face being withdrawn from their fall courses on Oct. 31 with no refund. For compliance assistance, contact Kenda Scheele at UMaine (kenda.scheele@maine.edu) and Dyandrea Labonte at UMaine Machias (dyandrea.labonte@maine.edu).

  • As noted last week in the UMS health and safety guidance, effective Oct. 15, proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) is required for anyone attending or working at non-class-related, indoor group gatherings of more than 250 persons organized by the university or in university facilities. Indoor mask requirements are in effect. UMaine and UMaine Machias event organizers with gatherings of fewer than 250 participants who want to consider vaccination and negative testing requirements for admission should email Interim Chief of Staff Joanne Yestramski, jly@maine.edu. The CDC also has information for event planners and individuals online.

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

  • The School of Performing Arts Division of Theatre and Dance presents “Anon(ymous)” by Naomi Iizuka, directed by Libra assistant professor Rosalie Purvis, at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 in Cyrus Pavilion Theatre. “Anon(ymous)” is a contemporary re-imagining of Homer’s “Odyssey.” Additional performances: 7:30 p.m., Oct. 16, 21, 22–23; 2 p.m., Oct. 17 and 24. Tickets are $12 or free for students with MaineCard.

  • UMaine historian Liam Riordan opens this fall’s Socialist and Marxist Studies Lecture Series with a virtual illustrated lecture, “Picturing Maine’s Indigenous Context: Colonialism and the Penobscot,” at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 14. A Zoom link and list of all lectures in the series are online.

  • The annual Highmoor Farm Fall Harvest Sale is from 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Oct. 13. Staff from Highmoor Farm, UMaine’s Monmouth-based center for fruit and vegetable research, will be on the green by the UMaine Cyrus Pavilion Theater selling apples and pumpkins.

  • UMaine Homecoming is Oct. 15–16; the event schedule is online. Free transportation for UMaine Machias students to attend the Homecoming football game at noon Oct. 16 is available, leaving from Powers Hall at 9 a.m. that day. Reserve your spot by completing this form. UMaine Machias Homecoming is Oct. 23; the events schedule is forthcoming.

  • In UMaine Athletics, women’s ice hockey continues its season on the road to Long Island University. The Saturday game is at 2 p.m., livestreamed on NEC Front Row. The men’s ice hockey team officially begins its season when it travels to take on Nebraska Omaha at 8 p.m. EST tonight and Saturday, livestreamed on NCHC.tv and heard on the Black Bears Sports Network. The men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete at the New England Championships at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Franklin Park in Boston. Soccer plays host to Stony Brook at Mahaney Diamond at noon on Sunday, live on ESPN+. Field hockey closes out the weekend when it hosts UC Davis at 1 p.m. on Sunday, live on AE.TV.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • MBS Corps, in collaboration with Title IX Student Services, will hold the 8th Annual March Against Domestic Violence, beginning at the Fogler Library steps at 3 p.m., Oct. 15. In addition, there will be a bake sale to support Partners for Peace to aid efforts to end domestic violence in our local community. For more information, contact kathryn.kane@maine.edu or heather.hogan@maine.edu.

  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H is again offering a virtual exhibit hall to showcase some of this year’s work by Maine 4-H members. The UMaine Extension 4-H virtual exhibit hall also expands the audience statewide. Included in the 2021 exhibits are posters created by 4-H Summer of Science teen leaders mentored by UMaine Extension 4-H staff. 

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • The inaugural Robert Talbot Civil Rights Speaker Series promoting dialogue and engagement to advance equality and justice begins with a reception at 4:30 p.m., lecture at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 by Amy Banks and Isaac Knapper, authors of “Fighting Time.” Free registration is online: our.umaine.edu/talbot. The event is offered by the UMaine Alumni Association and the Greater Bangor Area Branch NAACP.

  • Save the date: Fall Convocation for the UMaine and UMaine Machias communities is 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 26. It will be livestreamed.