For Everyone

In general, quarantine and isolation remain important safety protocols. The University of Maine System will act in keeping with United States Center for Disease Control (US CDC) and Maine public health guidelines requiring quarantine and isolation as applicable and appropriate in our university settings.

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 as why the university community 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. The University also cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the needs of all those who may need to quarantine or isolate.

To be clear, the University is not ending these services, it is very much staying in the public health fight, and is asking our community to do the same. It is equally clear, however, that individuals in addition to following University guidance will need to be prepared independently: to know and to follow public health guidance as it applies to their own situation; to alert their own close contacts in the event the University cannot or does not do so; and, to have a plan ready in advance to quarantine or isolate in non-university locations, as many already do, if the University is unable to accommodate their need. Links to Maine CDC and US CDC guidance are included at the end of this section of information.

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.

  • Members of the in-person community who are determined to have experienced a close contact COVID-19 exposure are required to quarantine for 5 days. This includes both asymptomatic and symptomatic persons.
  • An important exception: Students, staff, and faculty who are boosted; or who completed a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series very recently per CDC definitions (as of Jan. 10, 2022 this meant completed within 5 months) prior to the close contact; or, who completed a Johnson & Johnson vaccine series very recently (as of Jan. 10, 2022 this was within two months) of the contact date are in general exempted from quarantine requirements if they provide verification of their fully vaccinated and boosted status to the University and remain symptom-free. These persons are still required to monitor themselves for symptoms and to wear a face-covering indoors and outdoors for 10 days after the close contact. Such persons also can request a COVID-19 test to be sampled on day 5 following the date of contact if possible. You can provide verification of your vaccination status via the COVID-19 portal.
  • Certain asymptomatic University personnel also may be exempted from quarantine on a case by cases basis if directed to perform duties necessary to the safe functioning of the University.
  • All close contacts must wear a face covering at all times around others for 10 days from the date of contact.
  • To be clear, in keeping with the latest CDC guidance, individuals who are fully vaccinated but not yet boosted are no longer automatically exempt from quarantine unless the full vaccination was very recent.

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.

  • Regardless of vaccination or booster status, those who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 5 days from the start of their symptoms or their positive test date, whichever is sooner. The isolation concludes only provided the person is not symptomatic.
  • Those in isolation should stay home from classes, work, and any public gatherings until it is safe for them to be around others. No students who test positive for COVID-19 are exempt from this isolation period including vaccinated and asymptomatic individuals and those who may test negative during their isolation period.

Please see these links for direct access to Maine CDC < https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus/index.shtml > and US CDC guidance < https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html > regarding quarantine and isolation.

More information about quarantine and isolation also is available on the portions of this Together for Maine website specific to students and employees (student guidance can be found on the for students page; employee guidance can be found on the for employees page).

(Last reviewed/updated: 1/10/2022)

The universities of the University of Maine System have welcomed the university community to campuses across Maine for the 2021-22 academic year. University instruction and operations have continued throughout the pandemic and they are continuing today. This fall, with a vaccination requirement and other COVID-19 protocols in place, the University of Maine System welcomed back its community in numbers comparable to pre-pandemic days for the first time since March 2020. The University will continue in this way for the spring 2022 semester.

The information here is intended for a general audience including potential visitors to a university campus or facility. Students, staff and faculty should refer to other sections of this website for information tailored specifically to students and employees (student guidance can be found on the for students page; employee guidance can be found on the for employees page).

As of this posting, the University of Maine System provisions regarding its operations and in-person activities are as follows. The University of Maine System will continue to monitor civil authority and public health guidance and will modify its protocols as necessary in response to changes in the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Full Spring Semester Calendar:The University of Maine System has scheduled a full, typical in-person semester for Spring 2022. Classes for spring begin Tuesday, January 18, and end April 29, with final exams ending May 6 (except at the law school, where exams end May 12). Please refer to the specific academic calendars as published by each respective University for further information and details.
  • Access to campus and university facilities for visitors: University System campuses, in general, are open. Visitors–along with students, staff, and faculty–are currently required to wear face coverings at all times indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Many events or activities for which visitors would come to campus also will require evidence of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. For more information about face coverings, vaccination requirements, and other such protocols, please see the further details below and elsewhere on this website.
    • Vaccination requirements for visitors:
      • Visitors: Anyone attending indoor University System events of more than 250 people must provide proof of vaccination or an acceptable negative test to enter. The University permits and visitors may encounter this same requirement at smaller events as well. To the extent practicable, activity or venue-specific requirements will generally be posted with event notices and promotional materials. Visitors, including those who are not eligible by age to receive a vaccination and those asserting a religious objection or medical contraindication to vaccination, will be allowed to present a negative COVID-19 test instead of proof of vaccination. Visitors with questions or concerns should check in advance with the facility, event or activity organizers regarding any specific protocols for the facility, event or activity of interest.
        • This requirement applies to all persons at applicable gatherings including students, staff, employees and visitors. Students and employees should refer to the sections of this website specific to them for information about student and employee vaccination requirements.
        • Legitimate, legible, original vaccination cards and physical or electronic copies will be accepted. Individuals may also be asked for identification. For students and employees, the University System electronic clearance tool available via the COVID-19 portal will be accepted in place of other documentation.
        • The proof of vaccination is required to be for a vaccine approved by the FDA or WHO and must show the person had their final dose more than 2 weeks before the group gathering for which the evidence is being presented.
        • The University System may require evidence of a negative test. Evidence that will be accepted includes a negative PCR test or rapid antigen sampled within 72 hours of the event or gathering. Legitimate, legible, original test results and physical or electronic copies will be accepted. For students and employees, the University electronic clearance tool may be used in place of other documentation.
        • The University System, at its sole discretion, may permit individuals who are not age-eligible for vaccination (currently those younger than 5 years old effective January 4, 2022) entrance to applicable gatherings if they wear a face covering and pass a symptom check, except that children younger than two are not required to wear masks.
        • Classes which have more than 250 people in person for the purpose of an academic course are exempt from this requirement.
        • Because of the wide variety of spaces, events, and gatherings at the University System, this requirement may require special adjustment in some additional cases, but the intended outcome will remain that all those present for indoor events of more than 250 persons must present evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination or negative test to gain entrance to that space, activity or gathering.
        • Attempted or actual entry to events for which this requirement is applicable by individuals who do not meet these requirements: or presenting fraudulent information in an attempt to gain entry may result in action by the University System, for instance prohibiting such individuals from further University System gatherings, or other appropriate action.
      • Students: The University System currently requires students who are on campus in-person to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The details of this requirement for in-person students, including permissible exemptions, are posted on the Student page of this website.
      • Employees: In-person employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or adhere to alternative COVID-19 protocols. Further information about the requirement for in-person employees, including permissible exemptions and the accompanying collective bargaining agreements, is posted on the employee section of this website.
    • Face coverings: Face coverings currently are required through at least March 20, 2022, for all persons–students, staff, faculty, visitors and others–when indoors at a University facility. Please see the specific details on this website under “Face covering requirements (12/15/2021).”
    • Testing: The University of Maine System will continue proactive mandatory asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 of its in-person students, staff and faculty during spring 2022. Persons who have verified their fully vaccinated status with the University are currently in general excused from asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at this time. Students, staff and faculty should refer to their respective sections of this Together for Maine website (student guidance can be found on the for students pageemployee guidance can be found on the for employees page) for information regarding how “fully vaccinated” is defined and how to submit vaccination verification. Testing is not currently provided to visitors except in certain special circumstances.
    • General group size limits: There are currently no systemwide limits on group size within the University of Maine System. Individual universities may adopt limits for particular circumstances in consultation with their pandemic response, emergency operations and other campus leadership. These limits may also include limiting the pre-arrival time of attendees at larger events to the time which is necessary to obtain access to the event but not so early as to permit pre-event or parking lot gatherings. The University of Maine System does require evidence of vaccination status or a negative test for entrance to indoor group gatherings of more than 250 persons.
    • In-person instructional group size limits: There are currently no systemwide limits regarding in-person class sizes within the University of Maine System. Individual Universities may adopt limits for particular circumstances in consultation with their pandemic response, emergency operations and other campus leadership.
    • Physical distancing: There are currently no systemwide physical distancing requirements within the University of Maine System. Individual Universities may adopt such requirements for particular circumstances in consultation with their pandemic response, emergency operations and other campus leadership.
    • Community spaces and facilities such as libraries, museums, gyms, retail stores, computer labs, and study halls: These spaces in general are open and operating. Visitors and all persons, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a face covering at all times inside University facilities. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 tests resulted within 72 hours prior to entry will be required for group events of more than 250 persons and may also be required at additional times and places, such as for physical fitness facilities. Visitors and other interested persons should check with a particular event or facility prior to visiting to confirm the protocols that may be in place in those specific instances or locations.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve rapidly and this guidance is subject to change at any time. Interested individuals and organizations are encouraged to check Together for Maine routinely for updates. Employees, students and visitors are encouraged to check the relevant sections of the website for information particular to them (student guidance can be found on the for students pageemployee guidance can be found on the for employees page).

(Last reviewed/updated: 1/4/2022)

Required:

  • Face coverings are required indoors for all persons – students, staff, faculty and visitors – regardless of vaccination status when indoors at a University facility. The goal of this requirement and guidance is to minimize the amount of time a person without a face covering indoors in shared space with others.  This requirement has been extended to be effective through March 20, 2022. This requirement may be ended or further extended depending on civil guidance, the trajectory of the pandemic and public health considerations. The University of Maine System carefully monitors public health guidance and data, and will update its requirements, including this face covering requirement, as warranted. This face covering requirement specifically will be reviewed by March 20, 2022. Continuation or easing of this protocol are both possible depending on circumstances. Further information is below.

Further information:

  • The University of Maine System at this time also strongly recommends face coverings outdoors for all students, staff, faculty and visitors when the event or activity involves larger gatherings or crowded circumstances. This is a recommendation, not a requirement, at this time.
  • Face coverings also continue to be welcomed in other circumstances when individuals choose to wear them as a matter of personal preference. There may be certain exceptions related to security-sensitive circumstances or other matters when face coverings must be removed.
  • Many public health officials also support certain kinds of double masking or the use of a surgical face covering or devices such as a KN95 in addition to or in place of a cloth face covering and these practices are welcome at the university in accordance with public health guidance.  The University’s minimum requirement remains a multi-layer cloth face covering as described in the face covering guide, below.
  • Exceptions to the indoor requirement:
    • When a person is alone in an office or other room with a closed-door;
    • When eating or drinking in a space where eating or drinking is permitted;
    • When a medical accommodation has been granted by appropriate University of Maine System officials;
    • In other special circumstances as may be determined by campus leadership.

For the month of January 2022, the eating and drinking exception is being adjusted as follows to further minimize unmasked time indoors:

  • Food or drink is not allowed at meetings, events and other gatherings which are attended primarily by employees or employees and guests.
  • Any eating in shared space should be minimized to the extent feasible by all members of the University community.  Whether you are a student, staff, faculty or other member of the University community, if using a shared eating space, please do not linger and practice physical distancing when feasible.
  • Students and student life leaders are asked to adopt practices, if food or drink is served at a student gathering, to nevertheless maximize the time face coverings are worn.
  • Concessions are not allowed at ticketed or other organized University events which are open to the public from Jan. 14 through Jan 31, 2022.
  • Students and employees are asked to familiarize themselves with the grab-and-go dining options available to them on their campus and to make use of those options, especially during the month of January.
  • University of Maine System students and employees should also refer to the related guidance in the “For Students” or “For Employees” sections of this Together for Maine website.

When face coverings are required to be worn, they are to be the type commonly recommended by public health officials such as the US or Maine CDC. These are generally made of multiple layers of cloth or applicable disposable materials, which cover the nose, mouth and chin and are secured either with ear loops or with ties behind the head.

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.

(Last reviewed/updated: 01/10/2022)