Effective March 26, 2022, face coverings will be optional across the property of and in the facilities of the University of Maine System – – indoors and outdoors for all persons, students, staff, faculty and visitors – – 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.

  • 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 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 April 29, 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 PointNClick portal https://umaineportal.pointnclick.com/home.aspx 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 

COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Information

Student Vaccination Information and Requirements

As required by University of Maine System policy, any student participating in any on-campus experience for the 2022 Spring semester must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or seek an exemption, if they have not already done so.

Additionally, beginning February 1, 2022, eligible students must be fully boosted to be exempt from weekly COVID-19 testing and to be exempt from quarantining if they are a close contact of someone known to have COVID-19 (provided they are asymptomatic). Eligible students who have not received a booster by that date will be required to take part in the UMS COVID-19 weekly testing protocols and will not be exempt from quarantine.

Students may upload their vaccination and booster status via the PointNClick portal.

Information on the PointNClick Portal process is available here.

Vaccination clinics may be located on the Maine CDC Vaccination Sites.

The UMS policy does provide exemptions to the vaccination requirement for:

  1. Documented medical contraindication: a written statement from a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant that, in the provider’s professional judgment, immunization may be medically inadvisable.
  2. Sincerely held religious belief: a signed statement from the student, or guardian if the student is a minor, that the student’s sincerely held religious beliefs are contrary to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
  3. Remote learning only: a signed statement from the student, or guardian if the student is a minor, that the student will only enroll in remote learning courses that involve no participation in an on-campus experience at any University location. Because not all courses are available in an online modality, students who choose this option understand, agree and accept that this may limit their educational options and that, depending on degree program or course of study, it may not be possible to complete a course of study through remote learning only.

Students seeking an exemption for any of the three reasons stated above must complete the appropriate exemption form available on the PointNClick portal. Additionally, exempt students coming to campus or centers will be required to wear masks while on campus and must take part in the UMS COVID-19 weekly testing protocols.

Employee Vaccination Information and Requirements

  1. Documented medical contraindication: a signed statement from a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant that, in the provider’s professional judgment, immunization may be medically inadvisable.
  2. Sincerely held religious belief: a signed statement from the employee, that the employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs are contrary to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Employees seeking an exemption for any of the two reasons stated above must complete the appropriate exemption form available on the PointNClick portal. Additionally, exempt employees coming to campus or centers will be required to wear masks while on campus and must take part in the UMS COVID-19 weekly testing protocols.

Additionally, vaccinated employees who are eligible are encouraged to receive a booster.  Those employees who have received a booster should upload this information on PointNClick.

Health Insurance – Level 2 Credit

Those employees and spouses/domestic partners covered under UMS medical insurance are eligible for Level 2 credit with self-reporting of vaccination through the myCigna.com website.

Important: Entering information for satisfying Level 2 incentive does NOT meet the requirement to enter vaccination information into the UMS COVID-19 Portal.