What is the latest guidance for employees regarding testing and quarantining based on vaccination and booster status?

The latest University of Maine System guidance for employees regarding testing and quarantining based on vaccination and booster status was posted online Jan. 4.

Highlights of the guidance:

  • UMS continues to encourage staff and faculty to become vaccinated and boosted as soon as they are eligible and before the return to campus for Spring semester and to upload that information. Boosters are increasingly important and are expected to become more so with regard to the University’s requirements and protocols. It will be to each person’s advantage with regard to university protocols in addition to our community’s well-being for those medically able and eligible to become boosted as soon as possible.
  • Being fully vaccinated and providing that information to the university currently exempts asymptomatic employees from COVID-19 testing requirements. You can provide verification on the University of Maine System COVID-19 testing and vaccine portal. This may change in the future to provide an exemption only for fully boosted employees, and employees are encouraged to become boosted and to submit their booster information.
  • Being fully boosted and providing that information to the university in general exempts asymptomatic employees from the requirement to quarantine for 5 days if they are a COVID-19 close contact. You can provide verification of your booster status in PointnClick.
  • To be clear, following new CDC guidance issued Dec. 27, 2021, the university in general requires employees to quarantine for 5 days in the event of a close contact unless the employee is fully boosted. The exemption from quarantine is no longer available in general for those fully vaccinated, but only for those who are asymptomatic and fully boosted. There may be additional instances in keeping with CDC guidance in which the university directs a nonboosted asymptomatic employee to follow alternative protocols rather than quarantine.

If you test positive, stay home to isolate. Please do not come to campus or an off-campus university facility.

UMaine and UMaine Machias follow positive case isolation protocols as defined by federal CDC: Close contacts who become symptomatic need to isolate, contact their health care provider and get tested. A test 5 days after initial close contact to someone who has tested positive is recommended. In addition, face coverings should be worn while around other people for 10 days after initial contact. Monitor for symptoms.

Following CDC guidelines, employees can return to on-site work if they completed 5 days of self-isolation from the onset of symptoms and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and other symptoms of COVID-19 (with the exception of loss of taste or smell) are improving.

Submit a self-report form and open the lines of communication with those you know are your close contacts, including coworkers and supervisors. The CDC offers tips for how to communicate with your close contacts if you test positive.