Guidance for health and safety

What should out-of-state students do if they are not able to take and receive results for a PCR COVID19 test within 72 hours of coming to Maine? 🆕

Testing and receiving results within 72 hours prior to coming to the university may not be possible in all states. UMaine will have on-campus PCR CoViD 19 testing on the date of arrival for out-of-state students without the documentation needed. A schedule for testing the out-of-state student population will be available by the end of July.

Will COVID-19 testing services be available on campus?

The University of Maine System has entered into partnerships with the nonprofit biomedical research institution The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and ConvenientMD (CMD) to provide comprehensive COVID-19 testing services. Under the agreements, CMD will provide “wrap around” services, establishing sites at each UMS university to gather samples and administer and report results. The samples will be tested by JAX for the presence of the virus. The partnership will focus on RT-PCR testing, which is considered one of the most reliable COVID-19 tests, with high accuracy and low false positives. A news release is online.

Are face coverings required at UMaine and UMM?

Yes. More information is online under the heading: Should I wear a face covering while working? University of Maine System Safety Management also has a video about protocols for voluntary use of filtering facepieces and cloth face coverings. Signage at street entrances confirms that face coverings are required by everyone while on campus.

In addition to two university-issued face coverings, will employees receive any other health-related items?

In addition to two university-issued face coverings, every employee returning to work will receive a back-to-campus kit containing a personal-size bottle of hand sanitizer, cardholder for mobile phone and touchless door opener. The kits and face coverings are available by navigating to the Emergency Operation Center webpage and complete the COVID-19 Central Supply Request Form.

In addition to face coverings, what other PPE is there on campus for community members?

Other protective measures include the installation of hand sanitizer stations and hygiene barriers in high services areas. Signage will be strategically placed as a reminder to maintain social distancing, the need for frequent handwashing and what to do when you feel ill. A video provides information about the multiple PPE resources available. In addition, UMS Safety Management offers guidance through the portal to University of Maine System employees. Its website includes factsheets on office safety guidance, the physical demands of returning to the workplace, and a workspace checklist.

What special cleaning is being done on campus in response to COVID-19?

According to federal health and safety guidance, no special personal protective equipment (PPE) or cleaning processes are needed for cleaning above and beyond normal practices. UMS Safety Management has instituted protocols for use of disinfectants rated to work on coronavirus. Restrooms campuswide are cleaned and disinfected daily. Hand sanitation stations are being added campuswide. The UMS Scientific Advisory Board has a fact sheet on disinfection and cleaning during the pandemic.

Is there a public health campaign raising awareness of health and safety protocols on campus?

Yes. All members of our community will receive wellness kits containing face coverings, hand sanitizer, an information card and more as part of our Black Bears Care public health campaign. We also have a Black Bear Pact for our community members focused on protecting each other and emphasizing our collective responsibility for health and well-being — protect yourself, protect others and protect the College of Our Hearts Always.

Do members of the UMaine and UMM communities who have been out of state have to quarantine?

Currently, the state requires anyone traveling to Maine to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival or to obtain through a health care provider a PCR Test for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to arrival. If the test is negative, travelers to the state can complete the Maine certificate of compliance to waive the 14-day quarantine period. Members of the UMaine and UMM communities should arrive on campus within 72 hours of the test with a state of Maine certificate of compliance to present to the designated university official. (States exempt from this civil guidance are New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.)

How will the UMaine and UMM communities be notified if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 on the campuses?

Anyone who has been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by a medical provider in relation to coronavirus or is awaiting test results for COVID-19 is asked to voluntarily contact the UMaine and UMM Community Information line at  207.581.2681 for off-campus and on-campus students, staff, and faculty to self-report COVID related concerns; for those who have been asked to self isolate by the health care provider; for those asked to not attend class by their health care provider; for those who had a positive COVID test from a healthcare provider; or those who may have had a potential exposure. Your call will be routed to the appropriate resource.

In the event of an illness outbreak, UMaine will issue community health advisories, including prevention information and efforts, and relevant fact sheets, and will identify a UMaine contact person for more information.

Currently, an individual who is being tested for COVID-19 waits up to 48 hours for results. The university, under CDC guidance, will ask the individual to stay out of the workplace, classroom and lab, and self-quarantine until test results are available. Students living on campus will be directed to one of the designated rooms set aside for this purpose.

If the results are positive for COVID 19, your medical provider or UMaine and UMM will notify the Maine Center for Disease Control if a positive case has been identified on their respected campus.

In addition the Maine CDC will initiate an interview of the positive individual for a list of close contacts and activities over the past 48 hours to be able to reach out to any individuals who may have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more. The ME CDC then will contact each of the individual’s identified close contacts.

The positive individual will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Students living on campus will be asked to self-isolate at one of the oncampus rooms designated for this purpose. The individual be allowed to return to work, resident hall room, or classes after two negative COVID-19 lab tests.

Thank you for your understanding of the extraordinary circumstances this situation presents for all of us. Refer to the University of Maine System guidelines for university travel for business and personal travel for guidance.

Guidance for community members returning to UMaine and UMM campuses is online.

The Campus Communicable Disease Surveillance Policy also is online.

Can I use a face shield in place of a face covering?

The face shield alone is not a substitute for a face covering. Face shields can substantially reduce the short-term exposure of healthcare workers to large infectious aerosol particles, but smaller particles can remain airborne longer and flow around the face shield more easily to be inhaled. Thus, face shields provide a useful adjunct to respiratory protection for workers caring for patients with respiratory infections. However, they cannot be used as a substitute for respiratory protection when it is needed. A review for accommodations may be requested through your supervisor. Federal CDC guidance is online.

If a residential student who tests positive, what will the steps be for isolating?

UMaine has identified isolation rooms on campus separate from our residential living spaces. A student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be asked to voluntarily contact the UMaine and UMM Community Information line at 207.581.2681. Calls will be routed to the appropriate campus resource.

Residence Life will be contacted to locate the student to an on-campus isolation room for 14 days. Off-campus commuter students who test positive for COVID-19 will be requested to voluntarily contact the UMaine and UMM Community Information line at 207.581.2681. The student will be requested to self-isolate at their campus home for 14 days.

In both cases, Maine CDC will be contacted to confirm the positive covid test result. An ongoing daily communication will be initiated between the UMaine lead physician to the isolated student to monitor the health condition of the student while in isolation. The campus isolation rooms are equipped with a  thermometer, hand sanitizer, shower kit, tissues and phone charging cord, and are connected with the UMaine Dining meal delivery process. The rooms are set up with laundry service, bed sheets, pillows, blankets and bath towels set. Cutler Health Center provides medical oversight to monitor the ongoing health status of the isolated student.

Will hygiene barriers be installed on campus?

Hundreds of hygiene barriers are being installed in areas where services are provided and social distancing is not possible, including checkout stations and customer service counters.

How will UMaine and UMM help maintain social distancing protocols?

Campuswide, there will be hygiene barriers, floor stickers in numerous areas and signage, and common space occupancy capacity guidelines. Due to the nature of campuses and the importance of face coverings in keeping individuals and the community safe, face coverings are required at all times on University of Maine System campuses, property and facilities, both indoors and outside with exceptions. (https://www.maine.edu/health-advisory/community-guidance/everyone/), or OSHA approved face mask in specific  job roles and tasks.

Does the Psychological Services Center offer any counseling?

New telepsychology services, including one focused on stress responses to COVID-19, are now available through UMaine’s Psychological Services Center. A story about this work is online. For more information or to become a client, call the center at 207.581.2034.

What protocols should be followed by employees and students returning to campus and UMaine and UMM facilities from out of state? (Currently not including the states of Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire)

Those asymptomatic community members faculty, staff and students who have recently traveled outside of Maine and are returning to campus are subject to Maine CDC-recommended measures on their return to campus, based on their prior travel (CDC travel advisories) and out-of-state home locations (regions/states with sustained community transmission). There is sustained transmission of COVID-19 in the U.S. UMaine or UMM community members returning from out-of-state travel who are not exhibiting flu or COVID-19 symptoms are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to their workplace. During self-quarantine, monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and take a daily temperature. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your health care provider and follow the recommendations. Follow the voluntary UMaine/UMM self-reporting guidance below to assist in planning and guiding your return to work plan. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places and nonessential travel.

Employees under the guidance of a health care provider

If under any directives from their health care providers or if self-isolation is recommended awaiting COVID-19 laboratory test results, remain at your current home and self-isolate for the recommended CDC time period. Refer to the University of Maine System workplace policies and guidance on any alternate work-related option available to the faculty or staff. Follow the voluntary UMaine/UMM self-reporting guidance below to assist in planning and guiding your return to work plan.

Employees returning or displaying symptoms after travel abroad

Should you display COVID-19 symptoms after out-of-country travel, call your health care provider and follow the recommended self-quarantine period of 14 days while awaiting confirmation of the cause of your symptoms. Follow the voluntary UMaine/UMM self-reporting guidance below to assist in planning and guiding your return to work plan. Consult with your supervisor upon return about avoiding presence at work and possible work-from-home options. (University of Maine System workplace policies and guidance )

Employees awaiting COVID-19 test (laboratory) results

If you have been asked to self-quarantine by a medical provider in relation to coronavirus and/or are awaiting COVID-19 test results, please voluntarily contact the UMaine and UMM Community Information line at 207.581.2681 and follow your medical provider’s recommendations. Thank you for your understanding of the extraordinary circumstances this situation presents for all of us. Refer to the University of Maine System guidelines for university travel for business and personal travel for guidance.