Marching toward normalcy and following the science, the University of Maine System now exempts fully vaccinated students, faculty, and staff from COVID-19 testing and quarantine if they come into close contact with someone with COVID-19.
UMS launches voluntary vaccine tracker, urges departure testing and continued adherence to Together for Maine safety practices.
Orono, Maine — The University of Maine System marked the final day of classes for the spring 2021 semester by exempting fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff from its asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. The weekly testing of all university community members participating in an on-campus experience will continue through the summer for those individuals who have not yet been fully vaccinated.
Members of the university community who are fully vaccinated have already been exempted from quarantine procedures if they come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19. One is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving a J&J shot or two weeks after receiving a second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
The University of Maine System has also launched a voluntary vaccination tracker as part of its COVID-19 Testing Portal where community members can upload proof of vaccination.
“Vaccination is our path to normalcy,” said Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “Now everyone has one more reason to get their shots — a chance to be a part of the on-campus experience without having to participate in weekly COVID testing.”
The University of Maine System also issued new face covering guidance that aligns with current public health guidelines. Face coverings continue to be required indoors in university facilities, are recommended outdoors when social distancing is difficult to maintain, and not needed when outdoors in settings where distancing is readily maintained.
The University of Maine System launched a “This is our Shot, Maine” vaccination campaign to educate and encourage community members to get vaccinated and will be hosting campus-based clinics where available and needed to provide easier access to vaccines. As part of the campaign featuring student leaders, Chancellor Malloy, the presidents of UMS universities, and the law school dean have publicly shared that they are being vaccinated against COVID-19.
UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy authorized the first campus-based clinic in the state this week with Penobscot Community Health Care less than 48 hours after public health officials authorized the practice. The clinic was open to the public with UMaine nursing students and faculty administering 224 shots.
The University of Maine at Farmington will be hosting an open to the public COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Saturday, May 8 from 9 AM – 1 PM administered by North Star / Maine Emergency Medical Services and Healthy Community Coalition on at 274 Front Street in Farmington. There will be no appointment necessary. Individuals must be aged 18 or older and be able to return 28 days later for their second dose. Those seeking a vaccination should bring a photo ID and, though there are no out-of-pocket costs for getting the vaccine, people should bring their insurance information. Health insurance is not required, however, to receive a free vaccination.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is making plans to host a clinic on campus that would be open to the public on Tuesday, April 4. Confirmation and details will be announced soon.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle will be hosting a clinic for students and employees on Wednesday, May 5 administered by Hebert’s Rexall Pharmacy. The clinic will utilize single dose J&J shots to individuals 18 or older. The timing will be determined by how many individuals sign up to participate.
Additional clinics may be held at other campuses prior to the May 8 end of final exams if vaccine supply and provider capacity permits.
In a recent survey administered by the UMS Science Advisory Board and the Vaccine Planning and Partnership Task Force, 57% of respondents reported that they have received at least one dose; 73% reported that they plan to get vaccinated.
While vaccination remains voluntary at present, participation in the vaccination campaign is strongly encouraged. The University of Maine System has not yet announced its policies for the fall semester, which begins in four months.
UMS Urges Departure Testing and Together for Maine Safety Practices
In a message marking the final day of classes, Chancellor Malloy urged community members who are not fully vaccinated to participate in COVID-19 testing next week before leaving campus to know their COVID status before traveling.
The University of Maine System has administered 166,996 tests for COVID-19 this academic year as part of its testing, tracing, and isolating strategy to prevent the spread of infection. The weekly tests of community members participation in an on-campus experience can be completed in minutes. Test specimens are processed in a mobile lab located on the UMaine campus, and results are usually available in less than 24 hours.
Chancellor Malloy thanked students for their leadership in the Together for Maine public health campaign and urged continued adherence to safety practices as the university marks commencement and students finish final exams.
About the University of Maine System
Established in 1968, the University of Maine System (UMS) unites six distinctive public universities, comprising 10 campuses and numerous centers, in the common purpose of providing quality higher education while delivering on its traditional tripartite mission of teaching, research, and public service.
In 2020 UMS became the first and only statewide enterprise of public higher education in the country to transition to a unified accreditation for the system. Much different than a merger or consolidation, unified accreditation is a new operating model for the University of Maine System that removes the primary barrier to inter-institutional collaboration.
A comprehensive public institution of higher education, UMS serves more than 30,000 students annually and is supported by the efforts of more than 2,000 full-time and part-time faculty, more than 3,000 regular full-time and part-time staff, and a complement of part-time temporary (adjunct) faculty.
Reaching more than 500,000 people annually through educational and cultural offerings, the University of Maine System also benefits from more than two-thirds of its alumni population residing within the state; more than 123,000 individuals.
The System consists of six universities: The University of Maine (UMaine), including its regional campus the University of Maine at Machias (UMM); the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA); the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF); the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK), the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI); and the University of Southern Maine (USM). The System also includes the University of Maine School of Law and the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center.