Home / News / A message from President Wyke: Enhanced Safety Steps Before and After Thanksgiving Break

A message from President Wyke: Enhanced Safety Steps Before and After Thanksgiving Break

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Dear UMA Community,

During the final days before the Thanksgiving Break, our safe return precautions are being refined in response to Maine’s current increase in COVID-19 cases. These efforts also support a transition for students and employees to remote learning and working after the Thanksgiving holiday and comply with recent changes to Maine CDC and state requirements.

Face coverings required outside

Consistent with the new Maine CDC requirement, face coverings must be worn at all times on UMA campuses, property, and facilities, both indoors and outside regardless if you are alone. This is a change in both Maine CDC and university guidance. If you have any questions about this requirement, including a list of the limited exceptions, please refer to this Face Coverings Guide.

Non-essential travel limited

Everyone is encouraged to defer any University non-essential travel within the state, at least until November 25. Restrictions on domestic and international travel remain in place.

Increasing remote work and learning before Thanksgiving break

To limit the number of individuals on campuses and at Centers, a gradual return to remote work by some employees will begin in the days before the Thanksgiving Break and continue thereafter. While campuses and Centers will remain open, wherever possible, students should be encouraged to use phone, online, email, texts, and Zoom to access services. Affected employees will receive specific instruction about this transition from their supervisors in the next few days.

Final round of fall asymptomatic testing

The UMS asymptomatic testing for the fall semester will draw to a close with Thanksgiving Break. However, expanded testing will be included during the final round to provide safe departure and travel testing for residence hall, out-of-state, and other groups of students, similar to the arrival testing conducted at the start of the semester.

Post-Thanksgiving break, Nov 30 – Dec 22

Upon the recommendation of UMA’s Safe Return Committee, supervisors will implement minimal staffing levels to limit the number of individuals on campuses and at Centers, while still providing support for students. Extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 6:00 p.m. will continue. Whenever possible we encourage students to conduct business via phone, online, email, text, and Zoom options.

We will continue to update you regarding any changes in this schedule and provide additional details about campus and Center staffing between semesters in future communications.

As always, please remain vigilant by wearing face coverings, keeping our distance, staying home when sick, and washing hands to help keep our campuses and Centers safe. Our collective adherence to these protocols are imperative to our successful completion of the semester during this current surge of COVID-19 cases in Maine.

Stay healthy and be safe.

Sincerely,

Rebecca M. Wyke

Rebecca M. Wyke, Ed.D.
President