Frequently Asked Questions

Last modified: July 30, 2020

How did you determine the details of the Safe Return plan?
Health and safety were the top priorities in determining all details of this plan. We also used the results of student, faculty, and staff surveys, which indicated that a majority of our campus community members would prefer to be on campus if they could.
Why is there a pledge?

A big part of ensuring health and safety on campus is getting everyone to follow our established health and safety protocols all the time. The pledge is really your individual commitment to do everything you can to keep everyone here safe and COVID-free.

Will the Health Center be open?
Yes, the Health Center will be open during regular hours (1-5 p.m., Monday through Friday). Students need to call ahead about any visits to the Health Center, 207-768-9586.
What will happen at UMPI’s Houlton Center?
UMPI's Houlton Center will follow the same guidelines and protocols as the main campus.
How are quarantine and isolation different, and what do they entail?

People quarantine by staying away from others if there is a chance they were exposed to COVID-19. Isolation happens when people are sick with COVID-19 and they’re separated from people who aren’t infected. Here's a good resource to learn more:

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is an important tool for slowing transmission. Learn more from the CDC here:


Health Protocols

Will students be required to wear face coverings and will these face coverings be provided by UMPI?

Everyone on campus will be required to wear face coverings. UMPI will be providing 2 face masks for residence hall students at the beginning of the year, though they are encouraged to bring additional face masks of their own. Any other students coming to campus should provide their own face masks, or should connect with Student Life in order to obtain a face covering.

Who will need to be tested and how will that work?

The following groups will need to bring a test result with them, get tested upon arriving on campus, or perform a 14-day quarantine:

  • All students, staff, and faculty arriving from outside Maine
  • All residential students
  • Populations of special concern (i.e., student-athletes, etc.)

The most efficient way to do this is to get your test results within 72 hours before you return. We will have testing sites set up prior to move-in day. The System is also working on the potential for students to be tested at the closest UMS school prior to returning to their home campus; more details about this will be shared as they become available. At this time, individuals outside of the groups listed above are not required to be tested.


How will I be billed for Room and Board if we are leaving at Thanksgiving?

Your bill will be prorated with Nov. 20 serving as the last billed day on your bill.  This will result in your bill for the Fall semester being reduced by 20% for both Room and the Meal Plan to reflect the reduced amount of time on campus.

How will Work Study work?

Work Study will continue to function as it did prior to the disruption of campus operations during Spring 2020. Work Study students will be paid for the hours that they work during the semester. Due to the shortened on-site schedule, Student Financial Services recommends that students attempt to earn the majority of the fall allocation during the first 12 weeks of the semester. Students with a full allocation of $1,700 per semester, on average, would need to work 11.75 hours per week to earn the allocation during the first 12 weeks of the semester. Students with that same allocation would need to work 10.25 hours per week if they work for the full 15-week semester. After the Thanksgiving break, when students return home to complete their course work, those that can perform their duties remotely may make arrangements to continue to work until the end of the term.

What are the costs for online instruction vs. in-person instruction? Will there be a difference for residential students and what happens if I am an on-campus student and have to go home early?

Our costs per credit hour are the same for on-site and online classes; however, we will not be charging a distance education fee for any online classes. Instruction costs are the same for commuter and residential students. For any residential students who would need to go home early, we will do the conversion and then refund for room and board per diem. There will be no cancellation fee for dorm contracts.

Residence Life

How will it be determined if a student is from a “high risk” area and how will they be notified about quarantining upon their return to campus?

Whether or not you’re from a high risk area, COVID-19 testing will be conducted for all students from outside of Maine. Out-of-state students will receive information from the Residence Life Office about testing/quarantining processes in July.

Will I have roommates? Will I be able to request a single?

Because Park Hall will be utilized for potential quarantine/isolation space, residential capacity will be reduced by 25%. All remaining residence hall rooms will be set up for double occupancy, so you will have one roommate, no more or less, unless you have an approved accommodation for a single. The only single occupancy rooms will be medical singles.

What will move-in day be like for students and will parents be able to help?

Student move-in will occur in phases during the month of August to allow for self-quarantining where needed and to reduce the number of family and friends on campus at any given time. Students will need a negative test result within 72 hours prior to moving in. Residence hall students who aren’t able to test until they get to UMPI will receive testing and quarantine in their dorm room until test results are received. Once a negative test result is in hand, students may move freely about campus and the community. Families will not be able to move students into their rooms to limit the density of individuals in the building at any given time, which increases risk of exposure; however, a team of campus volunteers will assist students as they bring their belongings to their rooms. 

Will dorms be getting cleaned?

 Deep cleaning of residence halls will be done twice a day. All contact surfaces, such as door knobs, handrails, elevator buttons, and light switches, will be cleaned multiple times each day. Residence hall bathrooms will be cleaned 4 to 6 times per day depending on building occupancy. Residence hall students will be responsible for cleaning their own dorm spaces; basic cleaning supplies can be provided. Disinfecting wipes will be available for wiping down common spaces and other frequently used items. All are encouraged to ensure surfaces are disinfected between use.

If someone’s roommate is feeling sick, should the other person stay in?

If your roommate is sick, please notify ResLife staff immediately. We would relocate the sick individual most likely to a quarantine space in Park Hall if there was a concern that they were sick with COVID-19 symptoms. If your roommate does in fact have COVID-19, we would put the person with the confirmed case into isolation, or they could go home if they choose, but we would also need to quarantine you until we are able to get you tested because of potential exposure.

What about visitors to dorms and going home on weekends?

To ensure the safety of our campus, outside guests and other students who live off-campus will not be able to enter the residence halls. The only people who should be in the residence halls are those who live there. In terms of going home on weekends, visits to other towns and cities within Maine are allowable, but if you do leave, you need to let Residence Life know. UMPI’s move to remote work and learning after the Thanksgiving break is meant to help reduce potential student travel earlier in the semester and better prevent potential exposure connected with that travel.

When students leave for Thanksgiving, will they have to take all personal belongings with them?

No, unless they are not planning to return for the Spring semester. Residence hall students will be able to leave their belongings in their dorm rooms during the winter break.

Faculty and Staff

Will face shields for faculty be permissible in lieu of a face mask?

No, they can be used in conjunction with a face mask, but will not replace face coverings. We currently have 50 face shields in stock.

What is the process for requesting access to the campus?

UMPI has a streamlined request process in place to provide timely responses about campus access.  If you need to come to campus on a one-time or temporary basis, please fill out the form at this link and click submit. Requests will be approved on a case-by-case basis. We will be working to add a link to this form in the Forms & Docs section of the UMPI Portal. If you would like to return to campus on a more permanent basis, please speak with your supervisor or dean. If you have any questions or concerns about the form or request process, please contact Human Resources.


How do students pick the type of classes they want?
All students should work with their faculty and professional advisors on their class schedules to ensure their classes are in the modalities that work best for them, whether on-site, blended, online, or hyflex. Advisors will be reaching out to current and new students to help with any questions.
How will classes that really need to be done in-person (e.g., art studio courses and science labs) be handled?

Because UMPI’s art studio space is so large, art studio courses will be able to use social distancing and thus proceed in-person. For science labs, there will be a range of options including in-person (socially distanced), hyflex, online, and for specific courses (e.g., GIS) there will be the opportunity to VPN into computers.

For programs with intensive, hands-on lab training (such as MLT, PTA, and Exercise Science), labs will be conducted with fewer students and time frames may be shortened. Lab skills assessments will involve staggered appointments, a limited faculty-to-student ratio, and a requirement for PPE including face masks and gloves.

How will students be notified about schedule changes?

Changes in schedule, and other important updates, will be sent to you through email. Students are encouraged to check their email regularly.

Will we still have Fall Break in October?

No. In order to prevent potential exposure connected with student travel, UMPI will observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Canadian Thanksgiving on Oct. 12, but Oct. 13 will be a regular class day.

I don't feel comfortable returning to campus… Can I take all of my courses in an online format?

Yes, though there may be some exceptions for students who need to complete specific on-site classes to make degree progress. In these instances, advisors and faculty will be working to find appropriate alternatives. There are also certain courses that will need to be done in-person, such as labs and studio courses, though most programs have an option for degree progress completely online.  Please contact your advisor or faculty if you have questions about a specific course. Your advising team will work with you if changes are needed to continue your progress toward your degree.

Can I sign up for an on-site class, but take it only in a hyflex online/Zoom format and not have to come to campus?

No, those are three different course modalities. On-site classes require students to be in the classroom. Hyflex classes allow you to attend class meetings in the classroom, via Zoom, or by watching a recording of the class meeting. There are multiple course modalities that involve an online/Zoom format. To see the full list of course modalities and details on how they work, please check out this definition table.

We have this short video explaining the differences as well.

If a class is on a rotation schedule, how will students find out when they meet in-person and when they meet online?

Students will receive an email prior to the start of classes from their instructors about how their classes will be structured and scheduled. 

What about classes that will be live on some days, but distance on other days? Who will decide when the classes are live and distance, and how will students be informed?

Classes that are live on certain days and distance on other days are called Blended classes. College deans are determining whether classes will be on-site, blended, online, or hyflex, and students will receive email messages about this in mid-July. Students can work with their faculty and professional advisors if they want to change their class schedule based on how their courses will be delivered.


How will information about UMPI’s Safe Return plans be disseminated?

Information will be shared in a variety of ways. Safe Return plan details, updates, and other resources can be found at Information will also be shared through frequent email messages to campus, town hall meetings at various points throughout 2020, UMPI’s social media channels, and printed materials posted throughout campus.

Is everyone (students/staff/faculty) going to have to test for COVID-19? If so, where will the testing be done?

Every resident student will be tested. All students, faculty, and staff arriving from outside Maine, as well as populations of special concern (i.e., student-athletes) will also be tested. Students will receive information about testing procedures in July. Plans for testing location and procedures are underway.

Is there transportation from PQI to campus?

If you require transportation from the airport to our campus, please reach out to us beforehand and we will provide it.

Who will be required to wear a face mask on campus?

Anyone who is on campus must wear a well-fitted cloth or disposable mask or face covering. Coverings such as face shields and bandanas do not meet the University of Maine System’s definition of acceptable face coverings. Because of the nature of campuses and the importance of face coverings in keeping individuals and the community safe, face coverings are required at all times on all University of Maine System campuses, property and facilities, both indoors and outside.

Current exceptions to the University’s face covering requirement include: 1. when a person is alone in an office or other room with a closed door; 2. when a person is alone outside in a space where and when they can reasonably expect to be alone and they have a face covering available in the event it is needed; 3. when eating or drinking; 4. when a medical or disability situation requires an exemption (see process in the next answer); 5. When a situation (i.e. childcare settings) or a person (i.e. children younger than 2) are specifically exempted by Maine civil authorities; and, 6. in other special circumstances as may be determined by campus leadership.

If I have a medical reason that prevents me from wearing a mask, what are my options?

A student who cannot wear a face covering or mask due to a documented disability and would like to discuss possible accommodations should contact Mary Kate Barbosa in Student Support Services at or 207-768-9613 to discuss documentation and accommodation requests. Possible accommodations might include a change in class schedule or remote learning. Employees in this situation should contact Melissa DeMerchant in the Office of Human Resources at or 207-768-9462.

What if I need other accommodations this fall? How will that work with Safe Return plans?

Students requiring academic and campus accommodations due to a documented disability should make an appointment with Mary Kate Barbosa in Student Support Services at or 207-768-9613 to discuss needs for the fall. Please note that reasonable approved accommodations might look slightly different depending on which of the several modes of course instruction your courses will be using.

Are there any specific guidelines concerning homemade masks?

All employees and residence students will be provided with two face masks upon return to campus. All are encouraged to bring and use additional face masks of their own. Homemade masks are fine to use but must cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and under your chin.

Will students and staff be provided with thermometers to do temperature checks or is this an out of pocket expense?

Individuals will be responsible for procuring their own thermometers. Employees, students, and any campus visitors should take their temperature and ensure that it is at or below 100.3 F before leaving their residence hall room or home and coming to campus.

How will cleaning be handled in the classrooms? Who will do the cleaning?

Facilities team members will conduct the cleaning of classrooms between scheduled classes. Faculty and staff who have just utilized a classroom or are about to use the space can assist with these cleaning efforts as they are available and when time constraints require a quick turnaround of the space. 

Will there be flow control (e.g., classroom transitions and traffic flow) for Folsom/Pullen Hall?

Yes. We’re working to figure out how students will distance as they leave and enter classes. A traffic flow pattern will be established for the building, with specific entry and exit points.

Accessibility needs will be addressed as part of this planning work; an accessibility-focused floor plan identifying access points and traffic flow is being created for each building.

Will Conferences and Special Programs be hosting events this fall? Will tables and chairs for events that occur in the Campus Center be cleaned on a regular basis?

We’re planning to resume events of 50 people or less as long as campus opens as planned in late August. All tables, chairs, and other frequently used surfaces will be sanitized regularly.

Will Wieden Hall be open?

The building itself will be open, though facilities such as the gym and athletic training room will only be open for specific uses, primarily for academics and athletics purposes. There will be arrows to indicate traffic flow for movement throughout the building. Student athletes will need to pre-schedule visits to facilities such as the gym and athletic training room.

Will I need to go to Student Financial Services to validate my ID so I can use Gentile Hall this coming semester?

No. First time students will have a validation sticker placed on their IDs at the time they are produced by Student Services Staff.  Returning students will have their validation stickers applied when they first access Gentile Hall.

If we are going home at Thanksgiving, will we return to campus for the Spring semester?

Fall classes will transition to online only after the Thanksgiving break. Our plans are to return to campus for the Spring semester, with the tentative class start date of Jan. 19. Discussions are underway to determine if a later start date will be required. 

Help us add to this FAQ. Have a question and don’t see it here? Email with your question. And thank you for helping us to make this a comprehensive resource.

Despite efforts to minimize risks, the University cannot categorically guarantee that any person entering University campuses or facilities will not contract COVID-19 or any other communicable disease and any such person must assess and accept the risks of illness or injury for themselves.
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University of Maine at Presque Isle,
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Presque Isle, ME 04769

Campus Emergency Contact Numbers

If you need to reach someone on campus, please call the following numbers:

207-768-9532 Weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

207-768-9600 Holidays, weekends, and weekday evenings between 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.