In this Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, the University of Maine black bear outside of Memorial Gym is decorated in a blue mask. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Students planning to attend classes and on-campus events in person at University of Maine System schools are being asked to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall.

This means that students must provide proof that they have received all doses in a two-dose vaccine course, such as Moderna or Pfizer, or have received a Johnson and Johnson vaccine prior to Aug. 31, according to University of Maine System spokesperson Margaret Nagle. Students are also being encouraged to seek out booster vaccines if they qualify to receive one.

Students will be able to request medical, religious or remote learning-only exemptions.

Anyone that is not fully vaccinated that is traveling outside of Maine for university-related activities will be required to obtain a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their departure from and their return to campus.

Face coverings remain required in teaching spaces, unless the requirement is waived by a professor, as well as during public events that will host more than 75 people. Masking is optional in all other university spaces.

“Currently improving conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraging, but we are not out of the woods just yet,” Chancellor Dannel Malloy said. “Getting vaccinated and, when eligible, boosted remain the best defenses against the disease. Currently, 97.7 percent of our residential students and 95.9 percent of our nonresidential students are already in compliance with our COVID-19 guidance for fall. I’m thankful for our students’ dedication to their own health and safety, and the welfare of everyone across our university communities.”  

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.