MAINE, USA — The University of Maine system announced Tuesday it is prohibiting all non-essential university-sponsored air travel and is strongly encouraging students, faculty and staff to avoid personal travel to any domestic or international areas with known COVID-19 cases.
The UMaine system is also encouraging students to stay on campus over spring break (March 16-22) and said it will be opening residence and dining halls to support students. Those students who stay will not accrue any additional room or board charges.
“We want to encourage students, faculty, and staff to stay here in Maine to limit their potential exposure to coronavirus and to do our part to help halt the spread of this terrible disease,” Dannel Malloy, Chancellor of the University of Maine System, said in a statement. “I am personally very grateful for the dedication of our resident life, facilities, and dining service teams who are making it possible for us to accommodate our students here on campus over spring break.”
According to the UMaine system there are no plans to close campuses, but the March 23rd deadline ensures that by the end of spring break the universities will have the capacity to continue if campus-based operations are impacted before the end of the semester.
Faculty who face higher risks associated with COVID-19 will be able to transition to online and distance instruction as soon as possible. Staff employees with similar risks who ask to work remotely will be given preference for “telecommuting” work-from-home arrangements to the extent possible. Students facing higher risks may seek accommodations from their university accessibility services office.
The University of Maine is setting up a COVID-19 information line that it says will be available by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 10. The aim is to provide a trusted, round-the-clock source of information for all University of Maine system students, staff, and employees. The number for that line is (207) 581-2681.