UMaine Now: Back Together at Maine’s Flagship University

Dear University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias community members,

Yesterday I marked the start of the new semester with a Maine Memo reflecting on how we are learning to be together through the pandemic. Today’s UMaine Now message from me will be brief as we focus on navigating the first day of classes on this blustery, cold day.

It bears emphasizing that we are at a new place with the pandemic. Cases will occur and we must continue to use the tools we have learned over these last two years to limit the spread of infection and to prevent serious illness. Personal responsibility and sensible accommodations to local conditions must be a part of how we meet our commitment to safe in-person learning and the discovery, service, community building, and enrichment that are part of the campus-based university experience.

I recognize the work, the sacrifice, and, at times, the uncertainty confronting our community and each of its members. We are all doing our very best to be together and I appreciate how hard everyone is working to make sure we have as safe and fulfilling a spring semester as possible.  

Take good care,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy
President
 

The University of Maine Return website is an online resource for all COVID-19-related guidance for both our universities. For questions, email umaine.alerts@maine.edu.
 

Reminders and Notices

Upcoming booster deadline for students: Starting Feb. 1, the University of Maine System will require all in-person students who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine booster to participate in weekly asymptomatic testing. Verify your booster now to become exempt from weekly testing. If you have a booster, upload your vaccination card to PointnClick

Online submissions: All university community members are asked to submit self-report forms online if they receive positive COVID-19 test results. Important reminders for the forms: If you are a residential student, please use your residence hall and room number for your local address. For all self-reports, include the test date and test type (antigen or PCR) in the additional comments line.
 

Vaccination and Boosters

More clinic appointments available: To meet demand, the hours have been extended to 4 p.m. for the next Northern Light Pharmacy COVID-19 booster clinics scheduled for Jan. 20–21 in the Coe Room, Memorial Union. Appointments are now available online from 2–4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Appointments have filled quickly for these clinics. Additional clinics are expected and community announcements will be made, with sign-up links available closer to the confirmed dates.
 

Employee-specific health and safety guidance

For faculty and staff: The latest University of Maine System guidance for employees regarding testing and quarantining based on vaccination and booster status is online.
 

Minimizing Unmasking

Calling for greater coverage: For the month of January, the University of Maine System is not allowing concessions at ticketed or other university-organized events, and not allowing food and drink at meetings, events, and gatherings attended primarily by employees to minimize unmasked time indoors. Face coverings are required indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status when indoors at a University facility. More information is on the Together for Maine website under Face Covering Requirements.
 

Testing for COVID-19

Campus-based testing schedules: All UMaine students and employees, regardless of vaccination status, are encouraged to participate in campus-based COVID-19 testing. UMaine asymptomatic test dates in Estabrooke Hall: Jan. 19, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Jan. 20, 6:30–8:30 a.m.; 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; starting Jan. 24, Monday–Thursday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Wednesday also 6:30–8:30 a.m. UMaine Machias asymptomatic testing happens every Tuesday, 9 a.m.–noon; Thursday, 2–5 p.m. More information about the on-campus asymptomatic Shield T3 COVID-19 saliva testing for both universities is online. Learn more about self-administered on-campus COVID tests if you are symptomatic. Please remember to activate the COVID-19 consent form for campus testing this semester.