What is required for spring 2021 return-to-campus testing?
All students must return to campus having had a COVID-19 test (PCR, Rapid PCR, or Rapid Antigen) administered within the 72 hours prior to their arrival. UNE will accept tests ranging up to 7 days in advance, and students must quarantine from the day of their test until they return to campus. Please upload your pre-arrival test to the Student Health Center’s Student Health Portal.
Upon arrival to campus, students should go directly to the Harold Alfond Forum to complete the check-in process. They should have their pre-arrival test result ready, as a back-up, either on a mobile device or in print. Students will receive a bracelet upon completion of the check-in process, and they will be asked to wear it through January 29. Until students have received their bracelets, their ID cards will remain deactivated and they will not be permitted access to any campus facilities or classes.
Students who have not scheduled their check-in appointments should do so through the Student Health Portal.
What if I tested positive for COVID-19 during winter break and have completed isolation?
Students who tested positive during the break are required to upload their positive test result into the Student Health Portal. They must also schedule a date/time to check-in in order to receive their bracelet and have their ID card reactivated.
What if I have been vaccinated for COVID-19?
Students who have received the vaccination must comply with the return-to-campus testing protocol, which requires they produce a negative test result on a test administered in the previous 72 hours, and then a second test administered by the University.
If I have not completed the check-in process, can I go to class?
All students must arrive with a negative COVID viral test (first test) and then be COVID tested again (second test) on campus before beginning the spring 2021 semester. Students will receive a bracelet when they check in at the UNE medical pre-screening and provide proof of the negative test (first test). Without that bracelet, students will not be permitted to attend classes, utilize university facilities such as dining, libraries, and fitness centers, or participate in experiential learning or extracurricular activities. Students who lose their bracelet and require a replacement should go to the Office of Safety and Security.
What type of COVID-19 test do students need?
There are two general categories of COVID-19 tests: viral tests and antibody tests. Viral tests tell you if you have a current infection. Antibody tests might tell you if you’ve had a past infection. Students must have a viral test. Acceptable types of viral tests include PCR, Rapid PCR, and Rapid Antigen. Again, antibody tests are not acceptable. Information about the difference between viral and antibody tests may be found on the CDC’s website.
Are students from Maine or other states exempt from the test policy?
In order to support community health, there are no exemptions from the undergraduate testing requirement, regardless of your home state. All undergraduate students arriving on campus in the fall are to meet the requirement, including students from Maine and those states that are exempt from Governor Mills' quarantine order (currently N.H. and Vt.,).
Is the University doing surveillance testing?
The University is following current recommended best practices from the state and federal Centers for Disease Control and the American College Health Association. UNE's medical professionals will conduct targeted surveillance testing focused on any high-risk groups that might emerge.
In the interest of protecting the health and safety of the UNE Community, and given the current surge of COVID-19 cases in Maine and nationwide, UNE is expanding our current testing protocols to include ongoing surveillance testing for the spring term. A percentage of students, faculty, and professional staff will be identified each week and asked to submit for testing on a voluntary basis. Conducted on campus, the tests will be administered by Student Health Center staff and volunteers and will be processed by our partners at the Broad Institute. These protocols are subject to change as we continue to carefully monitor all relevant data.
Will I face conduct violation repercussions if I ask the Student Health Center for a test after violating the UNE Promise?
On September 16, in response to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in York County, UNE’s COVID Response Team made the decision to enhance testing protocols by offering tests, free of charge, at both campuses’ Student Health Centers, to any and all students –undergraduate and graduate -- who have found themselves in a situation in which they might have been at higher risk for contracting the virus to voluntarily go to the Student Health Center on either campus to be tested. All students are encouraged to take advantage of this resource without repercussions.
Examples of such higher risk situations would include:
- Travel to any state that is not among those which are exempt from Maine’s testing/quarantining requirements. Exempt states currently include New Hampshire and Vermont
- Attending a party or other gathering, a religious service, or other social event in which social distancing or masking was not consistently maintained.
- Contact with an individual who is known or suspected to be positive for the virus, even if the level of contact does not technically qualify as “close” per CDC standards.
Students who volunteer for such testing will be granted immunity from any potential conduct violations related to the activity that puts them at increased risk. For example, students who volunteer that they have attended an off-campus gathering and who seek testing will not be punished for revealing their attendance at the gathering. Likewise, any other individuals, identified by the volunteer(s), or others, as participating in such an event through a contract tracing process, will also be exempted from conduct violation processes in order to accurately ascertain the extent of the potential exposure. We are taking this approach to encourage students to come forward for testing as needed, without fear of incurring conduct violations, in order to prioritize the health of our community.
Conversely, students who do not voluntarily come forth and self-identify, and who are otherwise found through normal processes to have violated student conduct policies, will be subject to the normal conduct violation processes and consequences. For example, if a gathering is discovered by UNE staff in a dorm or off-campus-location and participating individuals have not self-identified, they might be subject to facing conduct violations, whereas if one or more participants come forward and identify that they participated, no one who attended the event will be subject to conduct violation repercussions.
Are students allowed to ride in vehicles with one another?
To comply with CDC recommendations that call for limiting the number of passengers in the vehicle to only those necessary, students should only travel with peers for essential purposes and should only do so with members of their “household,” including roommates/suitemates. All passengers should wear masks at all times in the vehicle.
May students choose to study remotely for the semester?
With the exception of fully online graduate and professional programs within the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, all UNE programs will be delivered through a hybrid learning model — courses will be campus-based and built around face-to-face classes supplemented with electronic materials via our learning management system. We will not be offering parallel, fully online courses this academic year.
The University is using this model, combined with reduced classroom density, rotation of in-class attendance between class sub-groups, and a set of community health and hygiene practices, to support community health while providing a full educational experience.
Students who are immunocompromised may request accommodations regarding participation in on-campus classes and other activities by completing a process through the Student Access Center. Please email the Biddeford Student Access Center or the Portland Campus Student Access Center for more information.
Are visitors allowed on UNE’s campuses?
To avoid risks of potential exposure to COVID-19, UNE restricts outside visitors on its campuses, unless they have reason to be present for official business. The general public is not allowed in campus buildings or residence halls, the libraries, fitness centers, and dining areas; to attend lectures/athletic events or similar functions, or to visit friends in residences for daytime or overnight stays.
Allowable exceptions to the restriction on visitors include pre-scheduled, approved visits of students’ family, admissions tours, athletics recruitment visits, contractors, and other visitors conducting essential business with the University.
Conference services may resume scheduling events on a limited basis in accordance with CDC and state guidance. Conference services will consider bookings where possible to utilize low traffic areas and will schedule events during off-peak hours to reduce density in campus spaces and mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the UNE community. Signage has been placed throughout the campuses to inform the general public of temporarily restricted access to UNE facilities.
Are students allowed to go home on the weekends?
Once students have returned to campus to begin the term, travel outside of Maine during the term is strongly discouraged. All community members are advised against travel outside of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont until further notice. If individuals do travel out of these specified states, they must follow the 14-day self-quarantine/testing guidelines outlined in the UNE Onward plan upon their return to Maine. Read more about student travel during the term on the Health and Safety webpage.
Will students be able to study abroad in the spring term?
In the best interest of our students, UNE’s fall undergraduate semester-abroad programs in Spain, France, and Morocco as well as all of UNE’s short-term travel programs and the Professional Science Master’s in Ocean Food Systems program in Iceland were canceled due to unexpected viral surges and travel restrictions. The undergraduate semester abroad in Iceland, however, is continuing as scheduled.
As part of the Office of Global Affairs’ contingency plan, all students who signed up for study-abroad programs also registered for our Maine-based courses and on-campus housing for the fall semester, and therefore, students who have been impacted by canceled programs abroad are having their educational and housing needs met on our Maine campuses.
The decisions made for the fall semester related to UNE’s study-abroad programs will be carried over into the spring semester as well, with only the undergraduate semester abroad in Iceland continuing as scheduled. All other travel abroad programs for spring semester, including all of UNE’s short-term travel programs; undergraduate semester-abroad programs in Spain, France, and Morocco; and the Professional Science Master’s in Ocean Food Systems program, are cancelled.