Dear UMPI Colleagues,
As promised during Thursday’s virtual Welcome Back meeting, I’m writing to share with you more details on our back to school plans. You may have seen the e-notification that went out to our campus community yesterday letting individuals know about the University of Maine System vaccination requirement, and related verification and exemptions. That is part of a larger effort to ensure that, in every way we can, we’re making students aware that they should only plan to participate in on-campus experiences at UMPI and the Houlton Center if they have done the following:
- begun the process (by Aug. 20) to become fully vaccinated
- or applied for a medical or religious exemption
- AND entered their information on the UMS online portal, https://umaineportal.pointnclick.com
We’ll be reinforcing that message on Monday and Tuesday by staffing Help Tables on either side of Pullen-Folsom Hall and sharing information and handouts with all students entering the building about the vaccination requirement, verification, and exemptions. There will also be devices on the tables if students would like help entering their information on the PNC portal, and free masks should students need them to follow the requirement of wearing face coverings while indoors on campus. Help Table crew members will also help to remind students that those still completing their vaccination verification or who have exempted status must participate in weekly asymptomatic testing. A one-page document has been developed to ensure those staffing the table have the details they need for this effort. Faculty are encouraged to include such information in their syllabi and correspondence; you may find specific language at https://www.umpi.edu/. Please don’t hesitate to contact your college Dean if you have specific questions about such language.
In addition to this work, our Safe Return team is developing plans for the next important date in the System’s COVID-19 Student Vaccination Requirements. Per the policy statement, by no later than Oct. 15, students are required to verify that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain an exemption from the vaccination requirement. After Oct. 15, unvaccinated, non-exempt students will not be permitted in University facilities or to participate in on-campus experiences (unless they have started a course of vaccination but are not yet fully vaccinated).
This means we’ll have a very busy fall as we work hard to keep our campus safe and healthy while understanding that it will likely be November before our on-campus student population is fully vaccinated or exempted. I would ask you all to please be diligent about our health and safety protocols in the meantime–wash your hands thoroughly, wear your face covering while indoors (except when eating, alone in an office, etc.), hand sanitize often, and take part in cleaning workspaces. Social distancing protocols aren’t currently in place, but please socially distance as you feel appropriate. And all are encouraged to take part in voluntary weekly testing.
Finally, please consider getting your vaccination if you haven’t already. There’s so much we can do to help keep each other safe. I thank each of you for your continued and dedicated efforts to do so as we head into this new academic year.