For Employees

Yes.

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. Additionally, double-face masking is increasingly common. Although it is not required by the University at this time, individuals are welcome to take this additional step in keeping with guidance from public health authorities such as the CDC (more information available here).

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 for face coverings, testing participation and other protocols as necessary and warranted. 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. Employees in a higher risk category, or with severe illness or underlying health conditions, please contact the University of Maine System American with Disabilities Act coordinator at 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System), adacoordinator@maine.edu. 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 must 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
adacoordinator@maine.edu.

(Last reviewed/updated: 02/22/2021)

UMS FACE COVERING GUIDE

(02/22/2021)

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.

This guide 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.

Reference:

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) are also appropriate as face coverings.
Yes
(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 sem@maine.edu

The University of Maine System and its Universities and Law School are looking ahead to plans for Fall 2021 and what that may mean for in-person and remote working.

While employees whose duties required an in-person presence – such as maintaining physical campus operations, conducting research and teaching in-person courses – have been working consistently on campus and will continue to do so, all employees who have been working partially or completely remotely may also be advised to return to campus in the future.

These are some additional details and updates:

If you have worked or are working on campus during the current academic year:

If you have worked primarily in-person this spring, please assume and expect that you will be continue to be in-person, including for Fall 2021. If you are a university employee engaged in direct student interactions, support or instruction; research or public service best conducted on-site; or, have been teaching one or more courses which typically would have been held in person but which used a different modality during the current academic year; please assume and expect that you will be primarily in-person for Fall 2021. Please use this information and expectation to inform your decision-making and planning for the Fall 2021 semester.

If you have worked or are working primarily remotely during the current academic year:

If you have worked or are currently working primarily remotely, you may continue doing so for the time being unless otherwise directed by your supervisor or other appropriate University officials. In the coming weeks and months, as long as the public health situation improves, our universities expect to begin planning for increasing numbers of employees to return to work on site to their primary working location(s). Exactly who, when and how is currently being discussed and reviewed by all University Presidents, the Dean of the Law School and the Chancellor. The University intends to communicate further before the end of May.

Returning to Campus for Fall and the Future:

The University of Maine System is in the process of examining the return to as much of a traditional Fall semester as possible, including the return to campus of more personnel over the summer as needed to make that kind of a fall a reality. Please see the guidance above for the time being and, again, please watch for more information regarding employees returning to campus to be communicated by the end of May.

All of the above notwithstanding, 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 continues to involve 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.

Last reviewed/updated: 04/07/2021

As the University of Maine System continues to monitor the local, national, and worldwide incidence of the coronavirus and the illness it causes, 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 and adhere to all testing protocols;
  • Sustain the University of Maine System academic mission and operational integrity Potential Additional Policy Changes

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 Together for Maine web page for updates.

Questions may be directed to your campus Human Resources Office.

(Last reviewed/updated: 02/10/2020)

Important Information About Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Benefits and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: On Thursday, March 11, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The University of Maine System has elected to continue to provide Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) benefits to eligible employees through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The expanded use of FFCRA through the ARPA helps individuals and their families meet the variety of challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new benefits under FFCRA/ARPA are effective April 1 through September 30, 2021.

What’s New?

  • FFCRA Sick Leave and Family Care benefits of 80 hours (prorated for part-time employees) will begin anew on April 1, 2021, regardless of prior usage.
  • The legislation added reasons for using sick leave to include vaccination related time, such as getting vaccinated or recovering from the health related effects of a vaccination.
  • The American Rescue Plan Act also extended FFCRA Emergency Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) benefits through September 30, 2021. EFMLA benefits have been expanded to a total period of 12 weeks up to a maximum of $12,000.

While this news is most welcome for University of Maine System employees, it does hold the possibility of creating some confusion about how to account for time spent obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination in the weeks to come.

Important Information about Time Reporting for the COVID-19 Vaccination: You may recall, on March 5, Chancellor Malloy authorized all UMS managers to help make vaccination a workplace priority and provide faculty and staff with the flexibility needed to get vaccinated when appropriate.

In addition, the Chancellor authorized two hours paid administrative leave (COVID leave for time reporting) for anyone to use to get their first vaccination.

Time used under the relevant FFCRA vaccination time reporting code and any other FFCRA Sick Leave/Family Care time taken cannot exceed 80 hours in total.

To record time for COVID-19 vaccinations obtained during scheduled working hours, use the following time reporting codes:

Prior to April 1: Use “COVID Leave” not to exceed two hours

April 1 or after: 

  • FFVXH (for hourly employees)
  • FFVXS (for salaried employees)
  • COVID Leave time

For more details on how to enter your vaccination related time on your timesheet, please visit the Human Resources Operations COVID19 Information Site (External Site).

To apply for FFCRA benefits for reasons other than the use of a vaccine, please complete the online form on the site linked above.

For more information on FFCRA or the ARPA, please contact your HR Partner or Employee Benefits Center at benefits@maine.edu or 1-207-973-3373.

Your HR Team

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

If you have a contractor or vendor coming on campus, please have them review and respond to these questions (see below as Docx and PDF files) 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: 02/17/2021)

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

The Tools for Remote Teaching, Learning and Work Resource Guide (https://www.maine.edu/information-technology/support/tools-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 (https://www.maine.edu/health-advisory/).

(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 https://mycampus.maine.edu 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 mycigna.com or 1-800-274-7603.

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

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 UMSC19Request@maine.edu 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 UMSC19Request@maine.edu 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 umsc19request@maine.edu

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

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

COVID-19 Treatment Cost Share Waiver Closed February 15, 2021

Cost share waiver continues for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related doctor visits through April 20, 2021

As COVID-19 vaccine availability increases, Cigna has announced that it is moving to normalize benefits and coverage in connection with pandemic-related claims.

Please be aware that Cigna’s customer cost-share waiver program for COVID-19 treatment concluded February 15, 2021.

Going forward, all COVID-19 treatment costs will be covered by the applicable Cigna health care plan in place and subject to the normal co-pays and deductibles.

Important: Employees will continue to have $0 cost sharing for all FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines and diagnostic COVID-19 testing and related screening office or virtual visit, as required by the CARES Act.

In addition to $0 cost sharing for FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines and diagnostic COVID-19 testing and related screening or virtual visits, Cigna will continue to provide useful information available at its Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center website (External Site) that features updates on current vaccine resources (External Site).

Finally, Cigna joins with the University of Maine System to encourage employees to be aware that even after vaccination, it’s important to continue following CDC guidelines to help prevent exposure to COVID-19. These important steps include:

  • Covering nose and mouth with a mask when around others
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Practicing physical distancing of at least 6 feet
  • Washing hands often

Should you have any questions about your Cigna COVID-19 health plan testing and diagnostic coverages, please contact Cigna directly at 1-800-244-6224.

Thank you,

Your HR Team

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 MyCigna.com.

(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 myCigna.com 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 MyCigna.com

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

More information is available on MyCigna.com.

(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 MyCigna.com.

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