University of Maine System considering how facilities, logistical capacity, and personnel could be deployed to assist Maine’s emergency response agencies and public health partners
Orono, Maine — The University of Maine System and its university leaders are actively working with state and local emergency response agencies and public health partners to assess how university resources could be deployed to assist with the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The inventory of available resources will include facilities that could be pressed into service as residential or alternative healthcare delivery space, existing supplies, and the logistical capacity of the System. The assessment will also consider personnel who could be tasked to the response effort through their existing on-campus roles (i.e. the campus-based production of food for delivery to healthcare facilities) or appropriate and voluntary assignments away from campus.
Opportunities to leverage university resources would include an assessment of safety precautions and would involve collaboration with state public health and emergency management officials.
This work is already underway on a limited basis. Earlier today, for example, UMaine’s Cooperative Extension was able to provide eight full-gown personal protective equipment suits and facemasks to the Penobscot Nation Police Department. The department had not been able to source the suits through suppliers.
“We have taken immediate steps to protect the health of our students and employees, continue to provide instruction at a distance, and to help reduce the spread of coronavirus,” said Chancellor Malloy. “But with lives hanging in the balance Maine’s universities must do even more. We are considering all appropriate steps to deploy our resources to assist Maine’s public health and emergency management leaders.”
The University of Maine System and all of the campuses are maintaining public health advisory pages to keep the university community and the public updated.