Friday Futurecast — November 12

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,

We continue to see upward of 150 community members taking advantage of COVID-19 asymptomatic testing on our campuses, and symptomatic testing at UMaine, all by appointment via PointnClick. Thankfully, symptomatic testing both at Estabrooke and at Cutler Health Center has resulted in a low percentage (1%) of positive COVID results; most symptoms are due to colds and respiratory infections typical at this time of year.

This testing is important, not only because of the incidence of positive cases in Maine and beyond, but also because of the travel expected during the upcoming semester break. We are hoping that community members, regardless of vaccination status, take advantage of our campus-based asymptomatic COVID-19 testing before they leave for break. At both UMaine and UMaine Machias, that testing occurs through Tuesday, Nov. 23.

Before closing, I want to give a huge shout-out to our field hockey team. We are proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished. Thank you for a great season. 

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • In partnership with Penobscot Community Health Center and the School of Nursing, UMaine will offer a public COVID-19 vaccination clinic from noon–5 p.m. on Nov. 17 in the Coe Room, Memorial Union, providing the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna, and one-dose J&J vaccines for people ages 5 and older. Schedule your appointment at this link. It’s recommended that parents with children schedule appointments during after-school hours, from 3–5 p.m. Vaccination cards are required if receiving second doses or boosters. Booster shots for Pfizer and Moderna are being provided for those who qualify: 
    • Students who are six months out from their second Pfizer or Moderna shots, 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
  • Northern Light Cutler Health Center is offering additional UMaine employee flu clinics for the 2021 season from 3–6 p.m. on Nov. 15 and Nov. 18. Clinics will be held in the Woolley Room at the Doris Twitchell Allen Village,138 Rangeley Road. Schedule your appointment on this website: umaine.edu/flushot. Fill out the consent form and bring it and your Cigna insurance card to your appointment. Those ages 65 and older seeking the high-dose flu vaccine are encouraged to contact their PCP or a local pharmacy. 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.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • The requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will remain in place for the spring semester. Some changes are occurring for both students and employees (including student employees), and you should review the detailed information at those web links as it applies to you. In brief, anyone involved in in-person classes or activities will need to submit their vaccination information or obtain an allowable exemption. Currently, more than 99% of our in-person community has met this requirement for fall. Importantly for spring, new students who will be in person on campus and those who have been fully online this fall but will be taking on-site classes in the spring will need to upload their vaccination cards or obtain an exemption via PointnClick prior to the start of classes on Jan. 18. Students who already have a maine.edu email and account are urged to take action now. Don’t wait. Students who do not act may find holds placed on their accounts, limiting their ability to register or make changes in their schedules until they meet the COVID-19 requirements.
  • The Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies at the University of Maine and partners in the Maine Developmental Disabilities Network collaborated with Gray Media Group (WAGM-TV) to design, produce and broadcast seven video public service announcements to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among people with disabilities and direct support professionals — the individuals who support people with disabilities where they live and work. More information about the project and links to the PSAs are online.

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

  • Learn about graduate programs in data science, spatial informatics, information systems and geographic information systems at a virtual information session from 5–6 p.m. on Nov. 16. Faculty from the School of Computing and Information Science — Harlan Onsrud, Nimesha Ranasinghe and Kate Beard — will be joined by Richard Roberts of UMaineOnline, and Jason Aylmer and Fiona Libby of the Graduate School. Registration is online.
  • The 2021 University of Maine senior art exhibition opens Nov. 19 in Lord Hall, featuring more than 60 works by 10 students. “Overture” includes paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, digital artworks and mixed media pieces by seniors in a studio art class led by professor of art James Linehan. The opening reception is 5–7 p.m. Nov. 19. Lord Gallery is open 9 a.m.–4 p.m. weekdays. 
  • The women’s basketball home opener tomorrow is dedicated to essential workers. Essential workers can receive a discounted ticket to the game against Providence in the Pit at 1 p.m. on Nov. 13. Click this link to get your discounted ticket. The men’s ice hockey team returns to Alfond Arena to host Merrimack tonight at 7:30 and Saturday at 5 p.m. Football is on the road to take on UMass at noon on Saturday. The women’s ice hockey team travels to UConn for a game tonight at 6 and on Saturday at 3 p.m. The UMaine cross country team is in action at the NCAA Regional Meet today, and the swimming and diving program travels to take on Holy Cross on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is Nov. 20. The UMaine Counseling Center and other members of the university community will host a series of public events Nov. 17–20. They include a solidarity candlelight vigil and discussions focused on reducing mental health stigma, identifying barriers to mental health, and coping and instilling hope. The goal is to engage in meaningful dialogue about mental health, healing and wellness. 
  • The UMaine Machias Advising Fest is 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Nov. 17 in the Center for Student Success, second floor, Torrey Hall. Meet academic advisors, register for classes, get information about degree progress reports and sign up for prizes. 

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • Reminder: Chancellor Malloy and his leadership team will visit UMaine Machias on Nov. 16. The Chancellor and President Ferrini-Mundy will be joined by UMS and UMaine leadership members who will present on academic collaborations and priorities, budget development, strategic planning and unified accreditation. The Chancellor is visiting all of the UMS universities and the University of Maine School of Law as part of his fall 2021 campus tour schedule. A recording of the Town Hall when the Chancellor and his team were hosted by UMaine is online.
  • The 2021 Mainebiz Bangor Forum on Nov. 18 will feature a panel of six Maine CEOs, including UMaine President Ferrini-Mundy, sharing their personal stories of success and learning experiences. This year’s topic: 60 ideas in 60 minutes. Register at Mainebiz.biz/Bangor21.
  • UMaine MARINE is sponsoring the virtual event, “The Blue Economy: What Is It, What Is the Importance to Maine & How Is UMaine Involved?” at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 18. Government, business and industry partners, and members of the UMaine MARINE community will discuss and define the Blue Economy in Maine. Registration is required.