Frequently Asked Questions

Last modified: August 30, 2021

Please view the plan for the latest info on what to expect on campus this academic year as we receive changing guidance from the State of Maine on COVID-19 restrictions.

How did you determine the details of the Safe Return plan?

Health and safety have remained the top priorities in determining all details of this plan. We have 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:

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/quarantineisolation.html

What is contact tracing?

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

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/contact-tracing.html

Students

Health Protocols

What is the vaccination requirement at UMPI?

The University of Maine System has established a COVID-19 vaccination requirement plan. Students had to begin the process to become fully vaccinated by Aug. 20, or submit an exemption (UMPI provides for medical, religious, and online-only exemptions) in order to remain eligible to participate in an on-campus experience this fall. Students should only plan to participate in on campus experiences at UMPI and the Houlton Center if they have begun the process to become fully vaccinated or applied for a medical or religious exemption, and entered their information on the UMS online portal. Please note that those who are exempted or who are not yet fully vaccinated will be required to participate in asymptomatic testing.

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

As of Aug. 18, face coverings are required indoors in all university facilities through at least the end of September, regardless of vaccination status. At this time, face coverings are not required when outdoors on university property, though they are strongly recommended outdoors when physical distancing is difficult or when large groups are involved. Should this change, an update will be shared with campus. Students should plan to bring their own face masks to campus.

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

Those who do not verify their vaccination status with the University of Maine System’s voluntary vaccination tracker before August 20, 2021, will need to complete arrival testing and quarantining practices planned for the start of the fall semester.
During move-in Aug. 26-29, residential students who are exempted or not yet fully vaccinated will be required to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus. Residents will then be quarantined in their room for 48-72 hours until a negative test result is received. Those who have a roommate will need to be cleared at the same time as their roommate, using the same procedure used last year. For students who live near campus,. there will be an option to be tested prior to move-in, allowing them to return home to wait for test results. For Maine residents only, those who have been tested within 72 hours of move-in and provide a negative test result will not have to quarantine. However, if their roommate is in quarantine, they will have to quarantine with them regardless of test result status.

UMPI additionally will conduct mandatory weekly COVID-19 asymptomatic testing of those who are exempted or who are not yet fully vaccinated and have in-person, on-campus experiences. See the Health and Safety Practices section of this FAQ for more about testing. For more details, contact Fred Thomas at frederick.thomas@maine.edu and 207-768-9580.

Financials

How will I be billed for Room and Board if we shift to remote learning before the end of the semester?

Your bill would be prorated based on the last billed day you were in the residence halls. This would result in your bill for the semester being reduced 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.

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

When will move-in happen for residential students? What do I need to know to prepare for move-in?

Move-in for residential students will take place on Thursday, Aug. 26, 4-9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 27, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 29, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fall athletes will have different arrival dates and should refer to information they receive from Athletics. Testing will be available at the time of move-in in the MMG Center. Students who need to complete arrival testing are encouraged to arrive no later than 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 25 to ensure test results are received in a timely enough manner to participate in opening activities. Residents will then be quarantined in their room for 48-72 hours until a negative test result is received. Those who have a roommate will need to be cleared at the same time as their roommate, using the same procedure used last year. For students who live near campus, there will be an option to be tested prior to move-in date, allowing them to return home to wait for test results. For Maine residents only, those who have been tested within 72 hours of move-in and provide a negative PCR test result will not have to complete arrival testing or quarantine. However, if their roommate is in quarantine, they will have to quarantine with them regardless of test result status.

Residents will be allowed to have 1 guest help them move into their residence hall room. They will be able to help students carry their items to their room and will then need to exit the building no later than 1 p.m. following the Welcome Back BBQ. All guests must wear masks at all times and follow all other health and safety guidelines or they will be removed from the hall. Guests should not enter the building if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

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. 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.

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; however, residents are allowed to visit each other if they live in different buildings on campus. 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.

Is there an update on how campus dining will be handled?

The campus dining area in Kelley Commons will be available for students who have a meal plan.

Other

How will parking permits for students be handled this year?

For the 2021-2022 academic year, we will be suspending the need for students to buy parking permits in order to park your vehicles on campus. Designated lots are still in effect, so please continue to only use parking identified for student parking.

Academics

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 in-person classes be handled?

As social distancing is no longer required, in-person classes will be conducted as they were before the pandemic.

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 maine.edu email regularly.

Are there any changes to the academic calendar?

At this point, there are no changes to the 2021-2022 academic calendar. Should that change, updates will be sent to you through email.

Click here to view the 2021-2022 academic calendar.

Will the add/drop period be extended?

The last day to add or drop a class for Fall 2021 will be Monday, Sept. 13.

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 determine whether classes will be on-site, blended, online, or hyflex, and students will receive email messages about this in ahead of the Spring semester. 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.

Will UMPI provide me with a camera if Photography classes are not held on campus?

UMPI has a policy in place for signing out one of four University-owned cameras. Students will work with the Photography instructor to complete a sign-out form; a charge will be made on a student account in the event of a non-returned camera.

Faculty and Staff

What is the vaccination requirement at UMPI?

Right now, all students participating in on-campus experiences must have begun the process (by Aug. 20) to become fully vaccinated, or submitted an exemption, and entered their information on the UMS online portal. Discussions are underway with labor leaders for a similar policy for university faculty and staff. There are medical, religious, and online-only exemptions.

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

Those who do not verify their vaccination status with the University of Maine System’s voluntary vaccination tracker before August 20, 2021, will need to complete arrival testing and quarantining practices planned for the start of the fall semester.

UMPI additionally will conduct mandatory weekly COVID-19 asymptomatic testing of those who are exempted or who are not yet fully vaccinated and have in-person, on-campus experiences. See the Health and Safety Practices section of this FAQ for more about testing. For more details, contact Fred Thomas at frederick.thomas@maine.edu and 207-768-9580.

What is the plan for returning to work or continuing to work from home?

Employees began returning to work in July 2021. If you would like to continue a remote work situation or your situation has changed, please speak with your supervisor or dean. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Human Resources. For more information from HR about returning to work, you can check out these Remote Work Guideline resources.

How will parking permits for employees be handled this year?

In order to minimize the need to visit specific offices to obtain a permit, parking permits for employees will be handled in the same way they were last year. Instead of a sticker permit, temporary tags that hang on a rearview mirror will be issued. These tags are good for the entire academic year. To obtain a tag, complete this form, include the $10 fee, and mail to Fred Thomas. Please note that you will not need to purchase multiple permits for multiple vehicles. Once received, your request will be processed and your tag will be mailed to you. Be sure to include the address where you want the tag mailed. Please display the tag on your rearview mirror when on campus.

Health and Safety Practices

Testing

How will testing work for the upcoming semester?

Arrival testing will occur as part of the move-in and return to campus efforts at the start of the semester. See the Student section of this FAQ for more about this testing.

UMPI will conduct mandatory weekly COVID-19 asymptomatic testing of all campus community members who are exempted or who are not yet fully vaccinated and have in-person, on-campus experiences. During the month of August, the regular testing schedule will be Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the MMG Center. Testing hours will be expanded in late August for arrival testing. During the Fall semester, the testing schedule will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; the testing center will be closed during holidays.

Please note: dates and times are subject to change as we move forward.

Specific to UMPI’s Houlton Center, students, faculty or staff can be tested at the Houlton Center on Monday-Thursday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Arrangements outside this timeframe can be made by contacting the Center at 207-521-3100. Faculty and staff will be contacted to make arrangements for testing appointments.

A few other important things to note:

  • This testing is only for asymptomatic community members. If you need to be tested because you have COVID-19 symptoms you should not come to the MMG Center or the Houlton Center.
  • You should not eat, drink, or smoke in the hour before your test. This will compromise your results.
  • You should plan to bring your phone with you for testing, as you will login with an app. If you do not have a smartphone or other device, we do have a few devices available to assist you at the testing site.
  • We will provide different colored bracelets to students to wear when they are tested; there will be a different color each week. 
  • UMPI has shifted to T3 asymptomatic testing. To learn more about T3 testing, please visit our T3 info page.
  • If there is a snow day or delay due to inclement weather, testing will be cancelled. If that occurs on your regular testing day, you can come in at any open testing time to complete your test later in the week.
  • The MOST important thing is to participate in testing if you are required to do so.

Those who do not show up for testing will lose access to campus, and/or possibly receive further disciplinary action. Please note: if an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, please notify Fred Thomas immediately. Those who have had a positive COVID-19 test recently and have completed their isolation are exempt from testing for the 90 days following the date they received a positive test; documentation must be shown to be exempted from testing.

For more details, contact Fred Thomas at frederick.thomas@maine.edu and 207-768-9580.

Quarantine/Isolation

What happens if I have to quarantine or isolate?

When you quarantine, you separate yourself from others in case you become sick because you were exposed to an individual or individuals with a contagious disease. When you isolate, you have a contagious disease and you separate yourself from people who are not sick. While they are different, in either situation, you can expect to be separated from others, either in Park Hall if you are an on-campus resident or at home if you live off-campus. Per CDC guidelines, individuals should complete a 10-day quarantine or isolation and not be exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms when they leave quarantine/isolation.

On-campus residents can expect the following to happen if they need to complete quarantine or isolation:

  • Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner (or brunch in some cases).
  • Daily outreach from a University employee to check on their well-being and needs. Wi-Fi for access to coursework to continue learning as well as for access to entertainment and communication.
  • Continued access to the virtual student life activities on campus.
  • Identification of one or more specific University staff who can be contacted if needed.
  • Timely release from quarantine or isolation.

Wastewater Testing

Why is UMPI conducting wastewater testing and what does it entail?

The University of Maine System has expanded its wastewater monitoring efforts to include UMPI. Samples for analysis will be collected twice per week and tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 at the Wheeler biosafety lab in Orono. Results of the testing will be published weekly on the Together for Maine website that also tracks asymptomatic screening results.

Wastewater testing is a method of sampling untreated sewage and testing for the presence of infectious disease. Quantitative SARS-CoV-2 measurements in untreated sewage can provide information on changes in total COVID-19 infection in the contributing community. Research also suggests that increases in viral material in community wastewater occur before signs or symptoms of COVID-19. This can help to provide an early warning of an increase in the number of infected people within a specific community, including those who are infected but don’t develop symptoms. Wastewater observation works because infected people may start shedding virus in their stool a few days before they show any symptoms of disease, or even if they never show symptoms.

Wastewater testing is increasingly being used to understand the spread of COVID-19 in specific communities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with agencies throughout the federal government, initiated a National Wastewater Surveillance System in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on that effort and additional background information on wastewater surveillance is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/wastewater-surveillance.html

Face coverings

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

Because of the nature of campuses and the importance of face coverings in keeping individuals and the community safe, anyone who is on campus must wear a well-fitted cloth or disposable mask or face covering while indoors in all university facilities, regardless of vaccination status. Coverings such as face shields, bandanas and gaiters/buffs do not meet the University of Maine System’s definition of acceptable face coverings. At this time, face coverings are not required when outdoors on university property, though they are strongly recommended outdoors when physical distancing is difficult or when large groups are involved.

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 eating or drinking; 3. when a medical accommodation has been granted by appropriate University officials (see process in the next answer); 4. When a situation (i.e. childcare settings) or a person (i.e. children younger than 2) are specifically exempted by Maine civil authorities; and, 5. 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 is not yet fully vaccinated but 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 mary.barbosa@maine.edu 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 melissa.demerchant@maine.edu or 207-768-9462.

Safety measures and protocols

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.

What is the #CampusClear daily screening app?

The University of Maine System has provided this simple, easy to use app. It provides a daily prompt to indicate any symptoms you may be experiencing prior to attending classes or heading to campus. Based on your response, you will be provided with guidance on how to make an informed decision about your participation in on-campus activities. The data collected through the application will only be used by the University to monitor the potential spread of COVID-19-related symptoms within the campus population. Signing up is fast and secure and you retain complete control over the information you share through the application.  It only takes a few seconds to self-screen and your participation helps keep our campuses safe for everyone.  For more details on installation instructions and use, please visit:  https://www.maine.edu/information-technology/support/daily-health-check-app/

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 and other buildings?

Not at this time as social distancing guidelines have changed. Floor markings and signage have been removed from buildings at this time. There are no longer specific entry and exit points or dedicated stairwells for going up and dedicated stairwells for going down in each building. Should that change, communications will be sent out to the campus community.

How will access to buildings be handled?

Right now, buildings are open to the public and doors to buildings are unlocked during regular operating hours. Should that change, messaging will go out to the campus community.

How will campus be notified if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19?

Information will be shared with the campus community through our Campus COVID-19 Dashboard on the main page of our Safe Return website. All members of the campus community are encouraged to check the dashboard for the most up-to-date information about current case numbers and tests taken.

Other

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 www.umpi.edu/return. Information will also be shared through frequent email messages to campus, town hall meetings at various points throughout 2021-2022, UMPI’s social media channels, and printed materials posted throughout campus.

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.

What happens with students, faculty, and staff who would normally commute to UMPI?

Faculty and staff who would need to commute to campus from Canada may do so as travel for delivering education is considered essential. Faculty and staff traveling from a state other than New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island need to follow quarantine protocols or have a negative test result before returning to work. This is not the case for students. Students may not commute daily from Canada, or a state other than NH, VT, CT, MA, or RI, as attending class can be done remotely and is not considered an essential reason for their travel. Immediate questions should be directed to Fred Thomas at frederick.thomas@maine.edu and 207-768-9580.

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

Yes. At this time, Conferences and Special Programs has returned to hosting in-person events without social distancing requirements and cleaning protocols will be followed. Campus visitors must be vaccinated or provide proof of a negative test result within the past 72 hours in order to enter UMPI buildings. This requirement does not apply to campus visitors when using outdoor UMPI facilities.

Will Wieden Hall be open?

Yes. At this time, Wieden Hall has returned to its normal public access and does not have social distancing requirements. Campus visitors must be vaccinated or provide proof of a negative test result within the past 72 hours in order to enter UMPI buildings. This requirement does not apply to campus visitors when using outdoor UMPI facilities.

Will Gentile Hall be open?

Gentile Hall is currently open to the public. Health and safety protocols are in place for those using Gentile Hall, including that individuals need to have proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of coming to campus. Right now, the Gentile Hall pool is open for lap swim only and individuals will need to email Gentile Hall to reserve lanes in advance for lap swim.

What if I need any academic or campus accommodations? 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 mary.barbosa@maine.edu or 207-768-9613 to discuss needs. 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.

Where do I go to validate my ID so I can use Gentile Hall this coming semester?

You no longer have to validate your ID to use Gentile Hall as the health and wellness center is now available for all UMPI students at no charge. In terms of picking up an ID or getting your room info updated on your ID, students should go to the Center for Innovative Learning. A one-stop shop will be set up from 3-5:30 on Friday, Aug. 27.

What are the group-size limitations for social gatherings and other functions?

At this time, there are no group-size limitations or social distancing requirements in place. Should that change, messaging will go out to the campus community.

Is there a contactless or low contact option for ordering food through Sodexo?

Through its Bite by Sodexo app, users can order from the Owl’s Nest menu and pay from the app using dining dollars, Owl’s Bucks, and a debit or credit card. App users can also order food before or during Kelley Commons meal periods and pick it up, skipping the lines, with the meal automatically deducted from their account. To use, download the app and enter location code X4T92

Help us add to this FAQ. Have a question and don’t see it here? Email umpi@maine.edu 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
207.768.9400

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.