UMaine System: Fully Vaccinated Exempted From COVID-19 Testing
ORONO, Maine (WAGM) - The University of Maine System marked the final day of classes for the spring 2021 semester by exempting fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff from its asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. The weekly testing of all university community members participating in an on-campus experience will continue through the summer for those individuals who have not yet been fully vaccinated.
Members of the university community who are fully vaccinated have already been exempted from quarantine procedures if they come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19. One is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving a J&J shot or two weeks after receiving a second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
The University of Maine System has also launched a voluntary vaccination tracker as part of its COVID-19 Testing Portal where community members can upload proof of vaccination.
“Vaccination is our path to normalcy,” said Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “Now everyone has one more reason to get their shots -- a chance to be a part of the on-campus experience without having to participate in weekly COVID testing.”
The University of Maine System also issued new face covering guidance that aligns with current public health guidelines. Face coverings continue to be required indoors in university facilities, are recommended outdoors when social distancing is difficult to maintain, and not needed when outdoors in settings where distancing is readily maintained.
The University of Maine System launched a “This is our Shot, Maine” vaccination campaign to educate and encourage community members to get vaccinated and will be hosting campus-based clinics where available and needed to provide easier access to vaccines. As part of the campaign featuring student leaders, Chancellor Malloy, the presidents of UMS universities, and the law school dean have publicly shared that they are being vaccinated against COVID-19.
UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy authorized the first campus-based clinic in the state this week with Penobscot Community Health Care less than 48 hours after public health officials authorized the practice. The clinic was open to the public with UMaine nursing students and faculty administering 224 shots.
The University of Maine at Farmington will be hosting an open to the public COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Saturday, May 8 from 9 AM - 1 PM administered by North Star / Maine Emergency Medical Services and Healthy Community Coalition at 274 Front Street in Farmington. There will be no appointment necessary. Individuals must be aged 18 or older and be able to return 28 days later for their second dose. Those seeking a vaccination should bring a photo ID and, though there are no out-of-pocket costs for getting the vaccine, people should bring their insurance information. Health insurance is not required, however, to receive a free vaccination.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is making plans to host a clinic on campus that would be open to the public on Tuesday, May 4. Confirmation and details will be announced soon.
Additional clinics may be held at other campuses prior to the May 8 end of final exams if vaccine supply and provider capacity permits.
In a recent survey administered by the UMS Science Advisory Board and the Vaccine Planning and Partnership Task Force, 57% of respondents reported that they have received at least one dose; 73% reported that they plan to get vaccinated.
While vaccination remains voluntary at present, participation in the vaccination campaign is strongly encouraged. The University of Maine System has not yet announced its policies for the fall semester, which begins in four months.
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