As a student, do I need to be tested before returning to campus for the fall term?
Upon return to campus this fall semester, all undergraduate students will be required to arrive with evidence of a negative viral test taken within 72 hours of arrival and will be tested again shortly after arrival. Please note that there are two types of tests: antigen and viral. UNE is requiring the viral test. Information about the difference between the two types of tests may be found on the CDC's website.
We encourage you to communicate with your primary care physicians and local testing sites about test availability as the fall semester approaches. Check get-tested-covid19.org and other online resources for a list of testing facilities near you. There is also an at-home test option that provides a fast turnaround time that is available to college students returning to campus.
If the average turnaround time for tests in your area exceeds 72 hours, we encourage you to plan ahead and get the test sooner and then to self-quarantine until you receive your results.
If you receive a negative result, continue to self-quarantine until you arrive on campus.
If I have not completed the check-in process, can I go to class?
All undergraduate students, including commuter students, must arrive with a negative COVID viral test (first test) and then be COVID tested again (second test) on campus before beginning the fall 2020 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, undergraduate 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 green bracelet and require a replacement should go to the Office of Safety and Security.
Are there still check-in dates and times available?
Student check-in for undergraduate students will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on August 28, August 31, September 2, and September 4. Those students who still need their second test by the UNE Health Center are required to schedule an appointment for testing on one of these dates and may do so by calling the Student Health Center at (Biddeford) (207) 602-2358 or (Portland) (207) 221-4242.
Do students need an antibody test or a viral test?
There are two general types of tests, a viral test and an antibody test. Students must have the viral test. Information about the difference between the two types of 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 NH, MA, VT, CT, NY and NJ).
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. 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 Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, 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.
Do parents or other individuals helping students with campus move-in need to be tested?
Parents and other people who are coming to campus to help students move into residential housing are required to follow Maine CDC guidelines for visitor testing. They will also be required to adhere to UNE’s public health policies, including those on social distancing, wearing a mask, and frequent hand sanitation. Each student will be allowed a maximum of one family member or friend to assist in moving into the residence hall.
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
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, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey 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 fall 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 have been canceled due to unexpected viral surges and travel restrictions. The undergraduate semester abroad in Iceland, however, will continue 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 will have their educational and housing needs met on our Maine campuses.