Together for Maine: Our Plan for a Safe Return
UMPI Safe Return

Latest Communications

3/16/2020 – Message from President Rice to faculty and staff

Colleagues,

This is a reminder to us all to protect ourselves, each other, and our communities by practicing the safety measures set forth by the CDC.  These include:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  (you can sing– very quietly– “Happy Birthday to You” twice if you have concerns about approximating those 20 seconds)
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them until they feel completely dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people– COVID-19 is not yet known to be spreading within northern Maine, but we ask that you practice a 6 foot rule of “social distance” between one another regardless, when in your offices and places of work whenever possible.  You can find more information about social distancing here.
  • Stay home if you are sick.  That’s a good general rule but it is especially important now, even if you are pretty certain that your sickness is “allergies” or some other condition that you regularly self-identify.  If you feel sick, and if you develop a fever and symptoms (such as cough or difficulty breathing), call your healthcare provider for medical advice.  You can find more specific information about symptoms from the CDC here 
In addition, please note that we are observing the Governor’s declaration of a “civil state of emergency” in order to observe health/safety guidelines.  These include the stricture that meetings of 50 or more people should not occur (you can read about her declaration here).  Meetings that would normally happen at a conference table not allowing for social distancing space should now occur via Zoom (or other distance modalities, such as a phone bridge).  Please contact Heather Nunez-Olmstead (heather.nunez@maine.edu) if you require additional training or information about Zoom, which you can also find located at the Center for Teaching and Learning site here.
A reminder, too, that as of this morning, our campus is open only to students, faculty (full time and part time), staff, administrators, or others with specific and formal business with the institution.  Such business should be regulated and pre- approved by supervisors overseeing such necessary operations.  Informal meetings with students (and any others) coming to campus should occur through other than face to face means when practical, but when they do occur directly, you should always observe the social distancing guidelines noted above.
Also, please keep in mind that you may request the ability to work at home, and arrange for how such work may be accomplished and how to determine appropriate documentation/coverage for such time if: (1) you are required to provide child supervision due to the closing of public schools and daycares, etc.; (2) your individual personal situation in regards to your age or pre-existing medical condition warrants similar accommodations.  Human Resources is always ready to provide guidance as well, so please do not hesitate to call or email should you have any questions.
I am including pdf handouts from the CDC about care and prevention and symptoms with this email.
Through our continued vigilance and observance of health guidelines and procedures as noted above– as well as our good common sense– we can continue to provide service and support both to our students and ourselves, which is so important for the success of our institution.  We continue to monitor and will update these policies as this crisis unfolds.  My thanks, again, to all of you for what you do.
Ray