What to expect when you return to campus (video with transcript)
Richard Young: We have three cohorts of students that we’re testing. Those would be the ones who are from out‑of‑state and live off‑campus from the University, as well as the on‑campus students who live in our resident housing. Those two big groups will be tested.
Of course, within that, we have smaller groups of specialty clinical classes with a nursing and athletic training majors who will be going out into the hospitals in the area and schools, so they will be tested as well.
Each student would arrive, and then they go through and sign releases as a release to sign so that their information can be shared with Jackson Laboratory as well as with the University of Maine, so we get the correct results in a timely manner.
The second piece is a permission to treat, and that is signed for the clinicians here so that the student has given them permission to do the test. The clinician takes a swab and would then have them open their mouth and do an oral pharyngeal sample at the back of their throat, and then they placed that in a tube and seal it.
Once they get to the lab, they are processed through, and within 24 to 48 hours, those results are provided back to the University. Those would be the ones that test positive. The negative results are placed in a database. Once this is completed, and the results are known, the testing procedure will be over. While the student is waiting for those results, however, they will be quarantined.
Another cohort group that we are identified here at the University to test is also faculty staff and graduate assistants and teaching assistants arriving to campus from out‑of‑state this fall.
That group will be contacted and tested at this at our testing facility under the same procedures that all students are operating under. They would then quarantine until they received the results. Once they received the results, they would then return to the regular activities.
This is our first baseline testing that we will do in August. Once that is completed, we will strategically evaluate the testing results and look to have ongoing surveillance testing on campus throughout the semester based on prevalence of findings of the COVID in our community, as well as strategically looking at people who may be at high risk and continue to monitor those populations.
Once the student, faculty, or staff receives the COVID‑19 test, they will be asked to self‑quarantine. If it is positive, they will then be asked to isolate for 14 days. If it’s negative, they would then resume their activities as normal.
We are aware that the last group being tested on the weekend prior to open your classes will have a potential conflict with the first day of class. We are currently reviewing all those lists to ensure that we minimize the number of students who have face‑to‑face classes on those first two days. They will remain in quarantine until they receive that test results.
During that time, they will have access to WiFi, as well as the academic hybrid classes. The faculty is aware of those situations and will be notified of the students who are in this situation as we go into the first week of classes.
The testing here at the University of Maine is of a higher standard than the current state guidelines. The University of Maine, due to the congregate living and the large number of students who live close together in our community, we are testing all students from out‑of‑state regardless of where they originate from.
Our goal with our testing program at the University of Maine is to bring students back to campus safely and to provide them with the best academic experience this fall.