For Employees

Required:

In general, face coverings are optional and welcomed across the University of Maine System, indoors and outdoors for all persons regardless of vaccination status.  There are many important exceptions, including in classrooms, when face coverings will or may continue to be required.  Those exceptions and many other details of this update are described below.

Note: The U.S. CDC recommends wearing face coverings in indoor public settings in areas where there is substantial transmission of COVID-19. To see which counties in Maine face coverings are recommended, consult this map from U.S. CDC.

Face coverings continue to be welcomed when individuals choose to wear them as a matter of personal choice. There may be certain exceptions related to security-sensitive circumstances or other matters when face coverings must be removed but, in general, the wearing of face coverings may not be prohibited.

  • Exceptions to the optional face covering protocol:
    • Face coverings continue to be required in all classrooms, research spaces and instructional circumstances unless the requirement is waived by the relevant faculty member.
    • Face coverings continue to be required when a person or persons are visiting an individual office space unless the primary occupant of the space or host of the meeting waives the requirement.
    • Face coverings continue to be required when recommended by the U.S. CDC in connection with exposure to or during recovery from a confirmed positive case of COVID-19.
    • Face coverings may continue to be required at any indoor university events open to the public (i.e., events open to individuals beyond students, staff and faculty) as follows:
      • For indoor events of more than 75 persons, face coverings are required unless proof of vaccination or a negative test is required as a condition of entrance, in which case face coverings can be optional as determined by the organizing authority. (Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test already is required at indoor University events of more than 250 persons, meaning face coverings can be optional at such events as determined by the organizing authority.)
      • For indoor events of 75 or fewer persons, face coverings are optional.
    • Face coverings may continue to be required by organizers of specific events or activities indoors or outdoors as determined by the organizing authority. Individuals should be prepared to wear a face covering if requested to do so.
    • Face coverings continue to be required in spaces where health care is provided unless the circumstances are such that relevant health care authority which occupies and controls the space waives the requirement.
  • Face coverings continue to be required in any circumstance necessary to meet the requirements of a civil authority or other relevant regulatory body with jurisdiction over the University or the activity (for example, but not limited to, air travel and other transportation circumstances when face coverings are required by federal civil authorities).
  • The current face covering protocol will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and specifically will be updated not later than July 1, 2022. Potential adjustments of this protocol will depend on circumstances, including the extent to which community members are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccination and verify that information by uploading vaccination and booster information to the UMS COVID-19 portal as applicable. Further information is below.

When or if face coverings are required to be worn as described above, they are to be of the type recommended by public health officials such as the U.S. or Maine CDC. Regardless of material or style they are to cover the nose, mouth and chin and be well-secured without gaps or openings. For more information about styles and types of face coverings which meet the University of Maine System’s (UMS) requirement (and those which do not), please reference the UMS Face Covering Guide found below.

  • In general, current public health guidance (External Site)  supports the use of devices such as a KN95 in addition to, or in place of, a face covering or a surgical face covering alone or in combination with a face covering. These practices are welcome at the university in accordance with public health guidance.
  • The University’s minimum requirement if or when a face covering is required remains a multi-layer appropriate material face covering as described in the face covering guide, below.

Students in a higher risk category, or with severe illness or underlying health conditions or other applicable circumstances who may need disability accommodations in connection with this protocol should contact the disability or accessibility services office on their campus.

Employees in a higher risk category, or with severe illness or underlying health conditions or other applicable circumstances who may need disability accommodations in connection with this protocol should contact the University of Maine System Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator at:

Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator
Address: 101 North Stevens Hall
University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754
Phone: 207-581-1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System)
Emailadacoordinator@maine.edu

The University’s face covering requirements are subject as applicable to the UMS employee progressive discipline policy, the UMS Student Code of Conduct (Board of Trustee Policy 501) and the respective associated disciplinary practices and provisions. These procedures also apply to anyone submitting false or fraudulent vaccination verification information.

Unless specifically authorized by the University to do so, students and employees, including faculty, may not conduct student conduct code or employee disciplinary policy-related face covering enforcement activities. Any member of a UMS university community concerned about a violation of the face covering requirements may report that concern by calling 207- 581-2681 or by selecting your campus using this online reporting tool (External Site).

The University asks everyone to aim for not mere technical compliance with the face covering requirement if confronted with one, but rather to meet the spirit and intention of the face covering requirement when wearing your own face covering.

Note that this and all University guidance on COVID-19 is subject to change in accordance with the evolving circumstances of COVID-19.

UMS FACE COVERING GUIDE

(05/11/2022)

Face coverings as of March 25, 2022, are required at University of Maine System campuses, property and facilities as described above. The chart below describes face coverings that are both allowed by and not allowed by the University.

In general, face coverings should have multiple layers of appropriate material or applicable disposable material covering the nose, mouth, and chin and be secured snugly with ear loops or ties behind the person’s head. Face coverings are intended to limit transmission of disease between people, not only to protect the wearer but also to protect others.

This guide does not address respirators and other personal protective equipment required to protect the employee from exposures in the workplace.

Reference:

Type Description Meets the University’s requirement
disposable face coverings Face Covering
“Face Covering” per Maine civil authorities is a protection that covers the nose and mouth; fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; is secured with ties or ear loops; has multiple layers of fabric which cover the nose, mouth and chin; allows for breathing without restriction; and is able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to its shape.
Clear masks, dust masks, and disposable masks (pictured), and or KN95s (non-NIOSH certification) are also appropriate as face coverings.
Yes
(See Note #1)
This category best meets the University’s requirement for face coverings on campus.
Photograph of layered face coverings: one surgical mask and one cloth mask. Ways to have a better fit and extra protection with face coverings
To achieve a better fit; wear two face coverings (disposable underneath in addition to another type on top). Or, combine a face covering with a fitter or brace. Or, knot and tuck ear loops of a 3-ply face covering where they join the edge of the face covering.
Yes
filtering masks N95 / N100 / P100 filtering facepiece (with exhalation valve) No
Any respirator that has an exhalation valve does not provide source control.
filtering masks without exhaust N95 / P100 filtering facepiece (without exhalation valve) Students and other community members other than employees may use N95 or KN95s at their own discretion in consultation with their own medical provider pursuant to public health guidance. With regard to employees, the University only provides and requires N95s in specific occupational scenarios. Employees who provide their own N95s are still subject to regulatory requirements by law in connection with voluntary use.  Employees who want to upgrade their face covering without additional regulatory requirements should instead consider a KN95 rather than an N95. Employees who want to use their own N95 should see note 2 for the regulatory requirements they must meet.
neck gator and bandana style masks Neck gator or bandana style covering open at bottom No
Half face and full-face respirators Half-Face and Full-Face Respirator No
See Note #3
Powered Air Purifying Respirator Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) Yes, with specific approval of appropriate university officials.
See Note #4
Face shield Face Shield No, not by itself. UMS does not allow face shields as a replacement for cloth face coverings.
They may be worn in combination with a face covering.
Other methods, including homemade face masks and face shields Other methods No
  1. Employees who work in a setting where face coverings may increase the risk of heat-related illness or cause safety concerns due to introduction of a hazard (for instance, straps getting caught in machinery) may contact UMS Safety Management to determine the appropriate face covering for their setting.
  2. OSHA’s voluntary use requirements, by law, apply to employees during working hours if they wish to use their own employee-provided n95. The State of Maine Bureau of Labor Standards requires personnel be medically able to wear the device, and for the employee to follow voluntary use requirements under the regulations. This means these employees will need to consult with their doctor and your supervisor, and complete a form and obtain their supervisor’s signature before wearing a N95. Again, KN95 face coverings are not subject to these requirements and represent an alternative for employees to upgrade their face covering without any regulatory burden.  These are requirements placed on the University and its employees by federal and state regulators.
  3. These respirators have an exhalation valve that do not provide source protection. They are for workplace exposures and their use is regulated by the UMS Respiratory Protection Program.
  4. These units are not permitted generally but may be permitted with approval of the appropriate university officials if necessary for some reason as an alternative to more typical appropriate face coverings.

(Last reviewed/updated: 05/11/2022)

The University System continues to encourage staff and faculty to become vaccinated, to stay up to date with shots (External Site) and to upload that information via the University of Maine System COVID-19 portal (External Site).

For information about where and how to get a vaccine, contact your healthcare provider, text your zip code to 438829 or check the CDC website for United States vaccine information (External Site) and the state of Maine website (External Site) for specific Maine information. More information about vaccination benefits and safety is available on the CDC website (External Site).

Each University of the University of Maine System also has, is or will be offering vaccination or booster clinics or otherwise facilitating access to the vaccines and boosters. Please check with your campus for specific information.

Exemption from testing: Being fully-vaccinated and providing that information to the University currently exempts asymptomatic employees from COVID-19 testing requirements. You can provide verification on the University of Maine System COVID-19 testing and vaccine portal. This may change in the future to provide an exemption only for up-to-date persons.  Employees are expected to stay up-to-date and to submit their booster information.

Exemption from quarantine: Being fully up-to-date (External Site) and providing that information to the University in general exempts asymptomatic employees from the requirement to quarantine if they are a COVID-19 close contact. You can provide shot status verification on the University of Maine System COVID-19 testing and vaccine portal. To be clear, following new CDC guidance issued Dec. 27, 2021, the University now requires employees to quarantine for at least 5 days in the event of a close contact unless the employee is up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. See the flow chart below for more information about general isolation and quarantine protocol.

This guidance and all University guidance on COVID-19 is subject to change in accordance with the evolving circumstances of COVID-19.

If you are unable to access any of the materials on this page, or if you require additional information, please contact Viviana Mendoza viviana.mendoza@maine.edu or by phone at 207-621-3482 to discuss options for obtaining equally effective access to such materials.

University of Maine System Isolation and Quarantine Flow Chart (PowerPoint)

 

 

(Last reviewed/updated (2/07/2022)

In general, quarantine and isolation remain important safety protocols (External Site). For a current summary of quarantine and isolation requirements and information at the University of Maine System, see the flow chart at the bottom of this section of information. Also, please note the University with this update is beginning to use the most current language from the US CDC regarding being fully vaccinated and up-to-date with vaccinations (External Site) rather than terms such as boosted and other terms that have been common to this point.  Up-to-date means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. The up-to-date language (External Site) will be used increasingly, as is the case in the flow chart below. The University also will be updating its vaccination verification system and other systems to increasingly reflect this new up-to-date language.

Quarantine: Quarantine applies to persons who have been or may have been exposed to COVID-19. In general, this means to stay home, out of work or school and away from all others, including members of your own household to the maximum extent feasible.

Isolation: Isolation applies to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. In general, this means to stay home, out of work or school and away from all others at all times, including members of your own household.

For a current summary of quarantine and isolation requirements and information at the University of Maine System, see the flow chart at the bottom of this section of information.

The University is continuing to offer COVID-19 testing at no charge as one of the many continuing protocols intended to keep the University community and broader community as safe as possible. The University is a highly vaccinated community and an increasingly boosted community with strong protocols like indoor face coverings which have helped make the university community safer throughout this pandemic.

The University is committed to continuing that record of safety and that is why the university community is being advised that, beginning in January 2022, following recent changes in CDC guidance regarding quarantine and isolation, as well as changes in the nature of the pandemic itself, the University is no longer able to guarantee that all such persons or their close contacts will otherwise receive personal outreach from the University. All individuals who test positive with the University will continue to receive electronic notification of their positive test result

To be clear, the University is not ending these services, it is very much staying in the public health effort, and is asking our community to do the same. It is equally clear, however, that employees, in addition to following University guidance will need to be prepared independently to:

  1. Know and to follow public health guidance as it applies to their own situation;
  2. Alert their own close contacts in the event the University cannot or does not do so; and,
  3. Have a plan ready in advance to quarantine or isolate at home or otherwise independent of the University.

Isolation and Quarantine Flow Chart

If you are unable to access any of the materials on this page, or if you require additional information, please contact Viviana Mendoza viviana.mendoza@maine.edu or by phone at 207-621-3482 to discuss options for obtaining equally effective access to such materials. 

University of Maine System quarantine and isolation flow chart (PDF)

University of Maine System Isolation and Quarantine Flow Chart - See PowerPoint Link for More Information

This document states the University of Maine System’s COVID-19 vaccination protocols for employees for the 2021-2022 academic year and outlines permissible exemptions. These protocols may be revisited as the COVID-19 pandemic develops; and as public health best practices change or emerge; and based on current law and the resolution of various federal requirements.

COVID-19 Employee Vaccination Protocols:

The University requires employees to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to verify that fully vaccinated status with the University, to request an exemption or to meet alternative testing requirements. The University previously encouraged all who are able to be vaccinated to do so as soon as possible, and to initiate vaccination no later than September 30, 2021. All employees – including student employees, remote employees, part-time employees, temporary employees and full-time employees– must be in compliance no later than January 4, 2022. Notwithstanding ongoing issuance, litigation or rescinding of various federal actions, the University’s own COVID-19 vaccination requirement stands apart and remains in place.  That requirement is for all in-person employees – including student employees, part-time employees, temporary employees and full-time employees – to now be in ongoing compliance with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination protocols.

Employees can achieve compliance by doing one of the following:

  1. Verify that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine that is either fully approved by the FDA, or approved under the FDA emergency use authorization, or approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). A request for verification is required to be submitted and approved through the University of Maine System COVID-19 vaccination portal.
  2. Obtain an exemption from the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Requests for exemptions are required to be submitted and approved through the University of Maine System COVID-19 portal. No alternative forms will be accepted other than the templates available on the University of Maine System COVID-19 portal. All employees who have not been fully vaccinated are required to adhere to public safety protocols to include masking, regular asymptomatic testing, and as applicable, quarantine and isolation consistent with University standards.
    1. Exemptions currently are available for medical contraindications, a sincerely-held religious belief, outdoor work and fully remote work. The details of these exemptions may be subject to change pending the outcome of ongoing litigation related to previously issued federal requirements.
    2. Employees with an approved exemption who work in person must also participate in weekly COVID-19 testing and other COVID-19 protocols as provided by the University.
  3. Participate in weekly COVID-19 testing as provided by the University and follow all other COVID-19 protocols if neither fully vaccinated nor formally exempt.

Employees in a higher risk category, or with severe illness or underlying health conditions or other applicable circumstances that may impact their ability to comply with COVID-19 requirements may contact the University of Maine System Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator at: 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754; 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System); or adacoordinator@maine.edu.

The University of Maine System will engage in active outreach to employees who have not submitted their vaccination information or submitted an exemption.

Public safety protocols, in addition to those listed above, may be implemented by the University at any time, as appropriate to respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, public health best practices, civil authority and law.

Compliance:

  • Employees working on-site will be required to verify their ongoing compliance with the UMS COVID-19 protocols through the UMS COVID-19 portal.
  • Employee compliance violations will be addressed by HR, management, or other appropriate university personnel. Repeated and willful disregard for UMS’ public safety protocols—including routine testing for COVID-19 if an employee is not vaccinated—after clear notice to the employee, may result in discipline.

This document replaces prior guidance and is effective February 4, 2022. This document will be in effect for the 2021-2022 academic year and may be revised, discontinued, or extended at any time.

(Last reviewed/updated: 02/04/2022)

Information and support services and options to complete remote work, teaching and learning for members of the University of Maine System community remain available and subject to timely updates and additions.

Areas of particular emphasis include verification of equipment and internet access, course delivery, collaborative tools, remote teaching support, support for remote work, remote labs and software, IT support and more. Please visit the Information Technology Resources and Tools page for more information.

Check back often, as additional services and tools will be posted on an ongoing basis.

(Last reviewed/updated: 01/06/2022)

All students, staff and faculty should please update information regarding emergency notifications in your emergency alerts profile. Follow this link for instructions. This will allow the University to best communicate with you.

Email: The Chancellor has been and will continue to send email updates at key junctures to keep the community advised. Presidents, in collaboration with each other and the Chancellor, also are doing likewise for your specific University.

Web site/s: The University is posting regular updates and information to a one-stop source web site for Covid-19 information: https://www.maine.edu/health-advisory/ . The web site also provides links to specific sites of the individual Universities of the University of Maine System. The web site also connects to more information from the Maine and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

If you have a question not answered by any of this guidance, the University also has a phone information line with recorded information and options for getting personal responses. That number is 207.581.2681.

(Last reviewed/updated: 01/06/2022)

The University of Maine System’s (UMS) Universities and Law School are continuing in-person operations for Spring 2022.

As in Fall 2021, faculty and staff should expect to continue to return increasingly to pre-pandemic conditions and modalities. This means that employees whose duties required in-person presence before the pandemic– such as maintaining physical campus operations, conducting research and teaching in-person courses– should expect to continue to work in person.

Not all employee circumstances are the same, of course, and therefore the University of Maine System has developed a process and a structure designed to support those who may find it necessary to explore alternative work arrangements– that is, something different than their pre-pandemic work schedule and/or modalities.

As always, if you have any questions, please call on your HR Partners for assistance and support.

(Last reviewed/updated: 01/05/2022)

For more information about where you can get vaccinated in the United States:

Please check the vaccines.gov website (External Site) or text your zip code to this phone number: 438829.

For additional information about vaccination locations in Maine, you also can check the Maine Government COVID-19 Vaccine site (External Site). COVID-19 vaccinations in Maine are plentiful, free and easy to obtain.

For instructions on using the online service to provide your vaccination information:
Visit the guide to the COVID-19 vaccination portal.

To go directly to the online service:
Verify your vaccination status (External Site).

To see the full vaccination requirement protocols for employees of the University of Maine System:
Please see the relevant specific portion of this web site.

Getting a second shot at a different provider than your first shot:

You can receive a 2nd shot of vaccine when required at a different clinic than where you received your first shot.

When seeking a second dose in Maine at a location other than where the first shot was given, you should notify the clinic where you are seeking your second dose. The time to receive a second Pfizer dose is 21 days after the first dose. For Moderna, it is 28 days.
Avoid mixing and matching vaccines.

Maine CDC recommends that you bring their vaccination card to your 2nd shot. If you have lost your card, you can still get a shot. You should inform the clinic that it is your second shot.

To replace a lost vaccination card or find a vaccination location, please see the information below.

How to replace your COVID-19 vaccination card:

If you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 but cannot find your vaccination card, these are the steps you can take to acquire a record that can be uploaded to the University of Maine System’s (UMS) vaccination verification portal. The University of Maine System only requires a digital copy of your vaccination card to complete verification.

Photo of Your Vaccination Card: If you have a photo of your card on a phone or other device, please visit the vaccination verification portal and follow the steps to upload an image.

Contact Your Medical Provider or Primary Care Physician: Contact your provider to ask if they can provide proof of vaccination from your medical records or by accessing your state’s immunization registry and provide a record or letter verifying your status for upload to the University of Maine System portal with the type of COVID-19 Vaccine administered and dates.

Contact Your Pharmacy: If you were vaccinated at a pharmacy, many pharmacies like Walmart, CVS and Walgreens, may provide individuals with digital vaccination records through their website that can be uploaded to the UMS portal. You may also be able to visit the providing pharmacy and request a copy of your record.

Contact Your State’s Immunization Registry: Contact your state registry directly. In Maine you will need to email, fax or mail in a signed copy of an authorization to release information directly to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The Maine CDC strongly recommends individuals contact their medical provider or primary care physician as a faster alternative.

Maine Immunization Program Contact Information

U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

University of Maine System Assistance

  • COVID-19 Hotline: (207) 581-2681

(Last reviewed: 01/28/2022)