Vaccination

Is UNE requiring all on-campus students and employees to be vaccinated?

Yes, by August 16, 2021, all on-campus students and all on-campus employees must be fully vaccinated in order to protect the safety and well-being of the UNE community. The vaccination mandate does allow for religious and medical exemptions to the policy. Those granted an exemption will need to wear a mask indoors.

The University will offer vaccinations to students engaged in academic programs over the summer as part of their onboarding process. Students, faculty, and professional staff can also make an appointment to get vaccinated through the Student Health Center. Once vaccinated, students should upload a copy of their vaccine card to the student health portal.

Does UNE offer vaccines and boosters to the UNE community?

Vaccines and boosters are available to UNE students and employees on a limited basis through the Office of Student Health Services. Student Health will hold a booster clinic for students and employees on December 2 on the Biddeford Campus and December 9 on the Portland Campus.

Please see the event listings for further details.

Is the State of Maine going to allow out-of-state college students who reside in Maine to get vaccinated in Maine?

Yes. The Maine CDC has confirmed that out-of-state students, including international students, who reside in Maine to attend college are eligible for the vaccine in Maine.

Where can I find a vaccination site?

You can find information on vaccine locations in Maine on the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination in Maine page. As all adult Maine residents becoming eligible for vaccination, demand is anticipated to be high. We encourage you to check multiple sites for vaccine appointment availability, and to continue to check these sites if you aren’t immediately able to make an appointment.

Here are some of the places to sign up:

All UNE students, faculty, and professional staff may also access Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines through the Student Health Center by making an appointment through the student health portal https://une.medicatconnect.com/ via a Firefox browser or mobile device (students) or by calling the Student Health Center at (207) 602-2358 or (207) 221-4242 (faculty and professional staff).  

Do I have to pay for a vaccine or will my health insurance cover it?

For people covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial insurance plans, the vaccine will be covered by insurance with no out-of-pocket cost. For uninsured people, any administrative fees charged by participating providers will be paid for by the U.S. government through the federal Provider Relief Fund.

Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccination program in Maine?

The Office of the Governor and Maine CDC have provided a comprehensive FAQ on this website.

Does the vaccination mandate allow for exceptions?

Yes, the University will allow for religious and medical (if approved by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) exemptions to the policy, but vaccination may still be required for specific clinical and academic programs and activities. Vaccination will also be required to participate in certain voluntary activities and programs. Those granted an exception will be required to wear masks while on campus to help ensure a safe campus community.

Please note that these exemptions only apply to the COVID-19 vaccines. A new Maine law, effective September 1, 2021, eliminates exemptions for students for the vaccines against diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella and tetanus, which will be required.

How do I request an exemption?

Employees who believe they are eligible for a medical exemption, or an exemption based upon a sincerely held religious belief must contact Human Resources by July 1, 2021, at hr-covid19questions@une.edu.

Students who believe they are eligible for a medical exemption, or an exemption based upon a sincerely held religious belief must complete this form and return it to UNE Student Health Services by July 1, 2021. Failure to provide information needed in this process may impact students' ability to register for housing and classes. In order to be consistent with Maine law regarding exemptions to state-mandated COVID-19 vaccinations, UNE allows only licensed physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to complete the medical provider portion of the exemption form.  

Will UNE accept a medical exemption form completed by from a naturopathic provider, chiropractor, acupuncturist, or other complementary/alternative medical providers?

In order to be consistent with Maine law regarding exemptions to state-mandated COVID-19 vaccinations, UNE allows only licensed physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to complete the medical provider portion of the exemption form.  
 

How do students report vaccination status to the University?
How do employees report vaccination status to the University?

Benefit-eligible employees must enter their vaccination information and upload an image of their vaccination card in PeopleAdmin, the system established by UNE to track vaccine information for employees. Detailed instructions (PDF) are available. Adjuncts and temporary employees will be provided information by their college or unit.

Is there a way for faculty to find out if students in their classes have been vaccinated?

Faculty may reach out to their academic dean to confirm the vaccination status of the students in their individual classes.

Now that COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are becoming more widely available, will UNE mandate the booster shot for students and employees?

Like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNE recommends that students and employees get the booster shot once they become eligible to protect against the potential for waning protection over time from original COVID-19 vaccination. However, the University will not mandate getting the booster at this time. We continue to monitor the evolving science regarding the efficacy and need for booster shots and will update the response to this question accordingly.

Other

Do I still need to wear a mask on campus? What if I am vaccinated?

Masks are not required outdoors on UNE’s campuses. However, masks are currently required indoors.* Please note that neck gaiters, bandanas, scarves, and masks with exhalation vents are not approved for indoor use. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required for certain clinical, research, or other activities. 

Also note that as mask requirements evolve, it is important that at UNE we value a culture that does not shame or discourage people from wearing masks to protect their health and the health of others if they choose to do so.

*As of October 29, 2021, per a decision made by the presidents of the Commonwealth Coast Conference, vaccinated indoor-sports varsity student athletes are allowed to remove their masks for indoor practice and athletic competition. They will be tested at least once per week to monitor their COVID-19 status.

Are visitors allowed on UNE’s campuses?

Yes, visitors are allowed on UNE’s campuses but are required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. 

Will students be able to study abroad in the fall term of academic year 2021-2022?

Yes, at this time all travel programs are moving forward as planned.

Is UNE open for prospective student tours

UNE’s Undergraduate Admissions Office has resumed group tours. Visitors will be required to wear a mask when indoors. Explore visit opportunities.

Is physical distancing still required on campus?

Social distancing is no longer required on UNE’s campuses (both outdoors and indoors). 

Is UNE still tracking on-campus cases of COVID-19?

On May 17, 2021, UNE provided a final update to the UNE Onward case reporting dashboard. The University will continue to track positive cases of the virus among our population internally, but we anticipate the majority of students and employees on our campuses to be vaccinated over the summer, with vaccination required by August 16. As a result, we anticipate very low incidence of the virus and no community transmission on campus.

How do I know if I should stay home from classes or work?

If you have one of the lower risk symptoms (headache, runny nose/congestion, nausea, diarrhea), associated with COVID-19 and no known exposure to someone who has tested positive for the virus, you may continue to attend class/work while remaining masked. You should take care to monitor your symptoms and contact the Student Health Center or your primary care physician if you develop additional symptoms. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

If you have one of the higher risk symptoms of COVID-19 (new, uncontrolled cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; loss of taste or smell; a fever of 100.4; sore throat), you should remain at home or in your residence hall room and contact the Student Health Center or your primary care physician. You are expected to follow the guidance of the provider who assesses your symptoms and adhere to their treatment plan which may include rapid or PCR testing. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

What is the definition of a close contact?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual five-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from two days before they have any symptoms (or, if they are asymptomatic, two days before their specimen that tested positive was collected).

Whom do I contact from UNE if I test positive for COVID-19?

Students who test positive for COVID-19 should contact Student Health Services. Employees who test positive should contact Human Resources.

Can students get a COVID-19 test on-campus?

Student Health Services is offering a limited amount of on-demand COVID-19 testing for all students. Testing will be available on both campuses Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 9 a.m. No appointment is needed. It is important to note that Student Health Services is experiencing a shortage of both staffing and tests, and we are working to address both in order to expand testing and best serve our students.  

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