For Employees


Face coverings are required at all times on University of Maine System campuses, property and facilities, both indoors and outside and if traveling on university business in a vehicle with others or engaged in official university business or activities away from campus.

The face coverings are to be of the type recommended by public health officials. These are generally made of multiple layers of cloth, which cover the nose, mouth and chin and are secured either with ear loops or with ties behind the head. For more information about styles and types of face coverings which meet the University’s requirement (and those which do not), please reference the UMS Face Covering Guide found below.

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

Current exceptions to the University’s face covering requirement include:

  1. When a person is alone in an office or other room with a closed door;
  2. When eating or drinking in a space where eating or drinking is permitted;
  3. When a medical accommodation has been granted by appropriate University officials;
  4. When a situation (i.e. childcare settings) or a person (i.e. children younger than 2) are specifically exempted by Maine civil authorities; or,

In other special circumstances as may be determined by campus leadership.

There is no exception to the face covering requirement for instructional purposes. Physical barriers, such as clear plastic screens, may be used in combination with a face covering but are not a substitute for face coverings.

Face coverings do not replace and should not be confused with respirators or other types of breathing safety protocols that may be required by OSHA. OSHA-required devices are intended to protect the wearer, while face coverings are intended to benefit both the wearer and those around them. Supervisors or employees who have questions about what controls are most applicable to the work at hand, should please refer to the Safety Management section of the University’s employee portal for more information.

While the University seeks and encourages its community to come together in support of each other and our shared safety, the University also will enforce the required COVID-19 health and safety protocols as necessary and warranted. These procedures already exist both for employees, in the form of existing progressive disciplinary practices, and for students, in the form of the student code of conduct (Board of Trustee Policy 501) and the code’s associated disciplinary provisions. Again, the University’s primary focus is on all of us pulling together to keep each other safe and asks that everyone do their utmost in their own conduct to avoid the need for enforcement.

This pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. This information is subject to change. Employees should check Together for Maine site routinely for updated information or changes in existing information.

The CDC further recommends and the state of Maine further require that cloth face coverings must be worn in various circumstances to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Individuals are encouraged to wear a cloth face covering in public settings in Maine in general to comply with the various orders of civil authorities and to follow the recommendations of public health experts. When circumstances are unknown or uncertain, wearing a face covering and having a cloth face covering available in case needed will allow individuals best to meet these directives and recommendations. For more information about the directives of civil authorities, please see this state web site.

In addition to employees wearing face coverings, University departments and business units are to promote the governor’s orders regarding social distancing, among other occupational controls, when conducting work activities and tasks.

To request a medical and other accommodations as required by law, contact

(Last reviewed/updated: 11/11/2020)



Face coverings are required at all times on University of Maine System campuses, property and facilities, both indoors and outside and if traveling on university business in a vehicle with others or engaged in official university business or activities away from campus. The chart below describes face coverings that are both allowed by and not allowed by the University.

It does not address respirators and other personal protective equipment required to protect the employee from exposures in the workplace. Face coverings are intended to limit transmission of disease between people, not only to protect the wearer but also to protect others.

What should cloth face coverings be made of?

In general, face coverings should have multiple layers covering the nose, mouth, and chin and be secured snugly with ear loops or ties behind the person’s head.


Type Description Meets the University’s requirement
disposable face coverings Cloth Face Covering
“Cloth 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)
(See Note #1)
This category best meets the University’s requirement for face coverings on campus.
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) Only with special permission and approval.
See Note #2
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 cloth face covering.
Other methods, including homemade face masks and face shields Other methods No
  1. Employees who work in a setting where cloth 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. Requires additional regulatory Respiratory Protection Program (OSHA Voluntary Use) requirements. Employees must consult with their Licensed Health Care Professional and their supervisor prior to use.
  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 cloth face coverings.

For more information, supervisors may contact UMS Safety Management at 207-581-4055 or

If you have a contractor or vendor coming on campus, please have them review and respond to these questions (see attached) prior to their arrival.  Consistent with guidance provided by the governor and Maine CDC, these questions are necessary to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you have any questions, please contact your campus Emergency Operations Center (EOC) contact.

COVID-19-Vendor_Contractor-Questions-Guidance-09.17.2020 (Docx)

COVID-19-Vendor_Contractor-Questions-Guidance-09.17.2020 (PDF)

(Last reviewed/updated: 09/18/2020)

In preparation for the gradual return to campus of employees across the University of Maine System, helpful materials have been prepared to assist in this important transition.

As per the Chancellor’s announcement of July 1, there is now important guidance available in The Return to Campus Training Guide.

Training to accompany The Guide is strongly encouraged and available in both ASL and non-ASL formats in UMS Academy.

Here are some helpful hints to assist in accessing the training in UMS Academy:

  • Please login to your campus portal before clicking the link(s) to the training.
  • Hoonuit uses third-party cookies so your browser needs to be configured to allow cookies.
  • For further assistance in checking your browser’s settings in case of difficulty, here is a handy Job Aid as well: I.T. Guidance for Adding a Cookie Exception for Hoonuit

Beginning January, 2021 for the Spring Semester, no employee currently working remotely should decide to return to work on campus or at other University locations unilaterally or independently. Employees should only return once they have received specific invitation or direction from their manager or supervisor or other appropriate University authorities.

Employees who would like to return to campus but have not yet been contacted are invited to contact their supervisor or manager. Supervisors and managers may in turn check on current workforce status with Human Resources to support the process in the event of questions or concerns. Supervisors and managers who are considering return to work decisions for employees must also coordinate with the emergency operations team on their campus.

Employees at greater risk for COVID-19 should continue to work remotely. For more information about understanding if you are at greater risk visit the CDC’s People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness (External Link) page.

This pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. This information is subject to change. Employees should check the Health Advisory page routinely for updated information or changes in existing information.

Working on campus involves safety constraints. To provide for social distancing and other pandemic practices, the University may in certain cases continue to limit the personnel in certain offices, programs or facilities. Keeping everyone safe is among the reasons why no employee should decide to return to campus unilaterally. Cloth face coverings will be required in almost all places at almost all times. A further description of that requirement is posted in the face covering portion of this web site.

This guidance about employees working on campus is intended for employees only and does not alter or otherwise affect instructions or updates for students, remote or in-person instruction or the status of previously cancelled summer programming or activities.

Certain activities continue to be exempted from these restrictions under the Governor’s executive order. Employees who already were required to continue to perform duties or were permitted to do so at a physical location other than home may continue to do so in consultation with their supervisor. Employees with questions about this guidance are encouraged to contact their supervisor or manager and may also consult with Human Resources as appropriate to their needs and concerns.

All employees are asked to follow the Governor’s directions in their personal conduct.

(Last reviewed/updated: 01/13/2021)

The Tools for Remote Teaching, Learning and Work Resource Guide ( has been developed to provide a comprehensive source of information for faculty and staff exploring options for teaching or working remotely, including how to access voicemail and forward incoming calls. We encourage everyone to please refer to this guide for timely updates and information as new tools or services are offered. We would also like to remind faculty and staff that updated remote work guidelines will be made available on the UMS Health Advisory site (

(Last reviewed/updated: 06/16/2020)

UMS Workplace Policies and Guidance regarding COVID-19 (January 13, 2021)

As the University of Maine System continues to monitor the local, national, and worldwide incidence of the coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19, faculty and staff members are asked to review the workplace policies and guidance on this web site which reflect established UMS approaches to a variety of workplace circumstances and challenges.

The University of Maine System’s priorities in maintaining workplace policies in the context of the current public health situation are to:

  • Encourage fairness, open communication, and concern for the wellbeing of our faculty, staff, and students.
  • Maintain a safe and healthy workplace, including minimizing the transmission of contagious disease such as the COVID-19;
  • Sustain the University of Maine System academic mission and operational integrity

Potential Additional Policy Changes
If public health conditions warrant, the University of Maine System’s policies may be further adjusted. Faculty and staff will be notified as necessary of such changes and should also check the Health Advisory page for the University of Maine System for updates.

Questions may be directed to your campus Human Resources Office.

Potential Additional Policy Changes

If public health conditions warrant, the University of Maine System’s policies may be further adjusted. Faculty and staff will be notified as necessary of such changes and should also check the Health Advisory page for the University of Maine System for updates.

Questions may be directed to your campus Human Resources Office.

(Last reviewed/updated: 06/16/2020)

Important Actions to Take To Be Safe and Prepared

  • All faculty and staff are urged to take basic steps to avoid exposure to or infection from the virus causing COVID-19 and to protect themselves and others.
    • Stay home if you are ill.
    • Stay home if you are at higher risk.
    • Follow the CDC guidance for protecting yourself and others.
    • See more information about staying safe in the “For Everyone” section of this web site.
  • Take the steps necessary to set up direct deposit for paycheck processing if you have not already done so. Please visit to access Employee Self-Service.
  • Should you need assistance with feelings of stress or anxiety or with resources for child care, pet care, etc., you or your family are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program available through Cigna at or 1-800-274-7603.

(Last reviewed/updated: 01/13/21)

For UMS employees, we recognize that during the current COVID-19 pandemic receiving the most accurate and up-to-date human resources information possible is of utmost importance. In compliance with Federal guidelines, we are providing the very latest information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, (FFCRA)..

Information has been added on the Human Resources COVID-19 Guidance Page

The University of Maine System has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maine Emergency Management Agency that will guide and expedite deployment of facilities, available supplies, services, and personnel into Maine’s response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

As part of this agreement the University will be coordinating with MEMA to maximize the impact of these contributions and will be tracking resources that are transferred for potential disaster relief reimbursement.

Faculty and staff who have recommendations on University resources and materials that could be transferred to the relief effort should please send these suggestions to for coordination, approval, and tracking. Review of all suggestions will be expedited.

Managing Requests for Resources: If you are aware of a request for University property, supplies or resources, or the availability of such resources to contribute, please send this information to for consideration and potential distribution. All transfers of University materials must be managed through this request process for coordination and tracking purposes.

To provide detailed information about the resources and materials:

    1. Please make a copy of this Google Sheets spreadsheet
    2. Fill in the the description(s) of the product/resources/supplies
    3. Share your spreadsheet with

Note: For additional information on completing the spreadsheet, see these detailed instructions.

(Last reviewed/updated: 01/13/21)

Cigna continues to closely monitor the 2020 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and remains committed to continuing the appropriate actions to ensure members have the medication needed to stay healthy. Should a member have any questions or concerns about an individual situation, Cigna pharmacists are available 24/7, by calling Cigna at 1.800.244.6224, and asking to speak with a pharmacist.

Reminder: Cigna benefit eligible members will be receiving new ID cards in the mail to begin using 1/12021. When going to the pharmacy, please be sure to bring your new ID card, as this will include the updated Rx information necessary for your pharmacist to fill your medication & process your pharmacy claim.

More Cigna Pharmacy and Refill Information is available on the Human Resources Guidance Page.

(Last reviewed/updated: 12/11/2020)

In our partnership with Cigna, UMS will continue to take steps to help plan participants worried about symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 find greater peace of mind with easier access to screening, testing, telehealth services, and behavioral health support.

Cigna COVID Resource Center: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Individuals and Families | Cigna

More information is available on

(Last reviewed/updated: 12/11/2020)

Cigna Virtual Care services provide the care you need, when you need it. Cigna provides access to telehealth services as part of your medical plan – through the Cigna Provider Network, and MDLive. Cigna’s Provider Network can be accessed online via your account. MDLive is a network of national telehealth providers, with 24/7/365 access to board-certified doctors via video chat or phone.

These virtual care services can be a cost-effective alternative to a doctor’s office or non-urgent ER visit. However, they are not intended to replace your primary care relationship or for use with life-threatening emergencies. To register or for any questions, please visit

You may also connect with a nurse 24/7 with any questions or concerns- via chat on, or by calling Cigna’s free Health Information Line at 1.800.564.9286.

More information is available on

(Last reviewed/updated: 12/11/2020)

Cigna Employee Assistance Program is available to all employees and their household members, regardless of whether they have UMS medical coverage or not, to help cope with and best navigate challenging times. EAP is free, confidential, and can be reached at 1-877-622-4327.

More information is available on

(Last reviewed/updated: 12/11/2020)