Minh Hoang of Maine Health fills a syringe with a COVID-19 vaccine at the former Scarborough Downs horse racing track on Wednesday Feb. 3, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The University of Maine System is easing its guidance on COVID-19 vaccines, nearly three years after the pandemic first arrived in Maine.

Beginning in May, the university system will no longer require that students and staff attending in-person campus events, including classes, receive a coronavirus vaccine or booster shot, according to spokesperson Tory Ryden.

Students and staff are encouraged to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, and can continue to upload vaccine documentation to the University of Maine Covid Portal. Vaccinations may be required for certain students that participate in off-campus, school-sanctioned activities, such as labs.

Fully vaccinated employees remain exempted from any mandatory COVID-19 testing.

“Although restrictions have evolved, we are still living in a pandemic, which has led all of us to develop a robust toolkit that can be implemented at any time to keep one another safe. We remain committed to following the science-based public health principles that will guide our use of those tools,” system Chancellor Dannel Malloy wrote in a Friday letter.

“I thank you for the role that each of you continues to play in our success and encourage you to stay up-to-date in your vaccinations. What we have learned will enable us to deliver the learning research, service, and knowledge needed to move Maine forward in the face of future challenges.”

Maine Community College System students are no longer required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in in-person classes and events, although the system continues to encourage vaccinations.

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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.