Updated October 4, 2021

  • For updates and developments on UMF’s ongoing response to COVID-19, visit UMF Communication Updates
  • If you have questions about UMF’s COVID-19-related policies and updates, please email umf.safereturn@maine.edu
  • For System-wide information and updates, visit the website below
UMaine System COVID-19 Information

Frequently Asked Questions for UMF Employees

We realize you have lots of questions, probably more than we can possibly answer on a single FAQ page. This FAQ is a work in progress and we will add to it. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at: umf.safereturn@maine.edu  Thank you for your patience and understanding. The University of Maine System has also prepared a broad System-wide resources page and FAQ for Employees, see button at the bottom of this page.

What-to-Do Work Flowchart

Should you find yourself ill with COVID-19 symptoms or are medically at risk, or if you are caring for immediate family who is ill / medically at risk, or you are caring for your child because their school / daycare has closed, please consult this COVID‐19 Employee Support Flow Chart (pdf) to see your work options.


Yes.  Effective October 15, anyone attending an indoor UMF event of more than 250 people must provide proof of vaccination or an acceptable negative test to enter. This includes visitors to campus.

UMF, in general, is open. Visitors – along with students, staff, and faculty – are currently required to wear face coverings at all times indoors at this time, regardless of vaccination status.

Effective October 15, anyone attending an indoor UMF event of more than 250 people must also provide proof of vaccination or an acceptable negative test to enter. This includes visitors to campus.

Requiring evidence of vaccination or a negative test for entry to University events already is being done on a case-by-case basis across University of Maine System campuses.

Visitors, including those who are not eligible by age to receive a vaccination and those asserting a religious objection or medical contraindication to vaccination, will be allowed to present a negative COVID-19 test instead of proof of vaccination.

Visitors with questions or concerns should check in advance with the facility, event or activity organizers regarding any specific protocols for the facility, event or activity of interest.

  • The proof of vaccination must be for a vaccine approved by the FDA or WHO and must show the person had their final dose more than 2 weeks before the group gathering for which the evidence is being presented. Legitimate, legible, original vaccination cards and physical or electronic copies will be accepted. Individuals may be asked also for identification. For students and employees, the University is working to provide an electronic clearance tool in connection with the University’s COVID-19 protocols that will be accepted in place of other documentation.
  • Evidence of a negative test that will be accepted includes a negative PCR test or rapid antigen within 72 hours of the event or gathering. Legitimate, legible, original test results and physical or electronic copies will be accepted. For students and employees, the University is working to provide an electronic clearance tool in connection the University’s COVID-19 protocols that will be accepted in place of other documentation.
  • Classes which have more than 250 people in person for the purpose of an academic course are exempt from this requirement.
  • Because of the wide variety of spaces, events, and gatherings at the University, this requirement may require special adjustment in some additional cases, but the intended outcome will remain that all those present for indoor events of more than 250 persons must present evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination or negative test to gain entrance to that space, activity or gathering.
  • Presentation of fraudulent information may result in their prohibition from University gatherings beyond the immediate gathering or other actions.

Yes.  The University of Maine System, which includes the University of Maine at Farmington, now requires in-person employees to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to verify that fully vaccinated status with the University, request an exemption, or adhere to alternative COVID-19 public safety protocols.

For represented employees, this Vaccination Protocol became effective upon execution of the applicable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). It will be in effect for the 2021-2022 academic year and may be revised, discontinued or extended at any time.

University of Maine System’s COVID-19 Employee Vaccination Protocols are for the 2021-2022 academic year and provide exemptions for employees in the following groups – documented medical contraindication, sincerely held religious belief, remote work only, and outdoor or isolated area work only. These protocols may be revisited as the COVID-19 pandemic develops; and as public health best practices change or emerge; and based on current law.

Any employee who is working on-site at any UMaine System campus or facility and is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine that is either fully approved by the FDA, approved under the FDA emergency use authorization, or approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), will be required to adhere to public safety protocols to include masking, regular asymptomatic weekly testing and as applicable, quarantine and isolation consistent with University standards.

Fully vaccinated is defined as two weeks after the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

No later than September 30, 2021, all employees are required to log in and verify their information through the UMS COVID-19 vaccination portal.

Employees planning to be fully vaccinated should receive their first vaccination as soon as possible, but no later than September 30, 2021.

See the University of Maine System’s COVID-19 Employee Vaccination Protocols for details.

Indoors — Yes, regardless of your vaccination status.
This requirement has been extended to at least October 31, 2021.

Outdoors — Strongly recommended but not required.

Effective immediately, face coverings are again required indoors for all persons — employees, students, and visitors – regardless of vaccination status when indoors at a University facility.

The face covering requirement may be ended or extended depending on civil guidance, the trajectory of the pandemic and public health considerations.

The University of Maine System carefully monitors public health guidance and data, and will update its requirements, including this face covering requirement, as warranted. This face covering requirement will be reviewed by October 30, 2021. Continuation or easing of this protocol are both possible depending on circumstances.

Exceptions to the University’s indoors face covering requirement include:

  • When a person is alone in an office or other room with a closed door
  • When eating or drinking in a space where eating or drinking is permitted
  • When a medical accommodation has been granted by appropriate University of Maine System officials
  • In other special circumstances as may be determined by campus leadership

For now, the University of Maine System strongly recommends face coverings outdoors for all employees, students, and visitors when the event or activity involves larger gatherings or crowded circumstances. This is a recommendation, not a requirement, at this time.

  • Face coverings also continue to be welcomed in other circumstances when individuals choose to wear them as a matter of personal preference
  • There may be certain exceptions related to security-sensitive circumstances or other matters when face coverings must be removed

This and all University guidance on COVID-19 is subject to change in accordance with the evolving circumstances of COVID-19.

No.  The University of Maine System strongly recommends face coverings outdoors for all students, staff, faculty and visitors when the event or activity involves larger gatherings or crowded circumstances. This is a recommendation, not a requirement, at this time.

Yes.  The University of Maine System, which includes the University of Maine at Farmington, requires COVID-19 vaccination of all students engaged in an on-campus experience this fall.

Students who participate solely in remote learning are exempt from the vaccination requirement.

Students have an opportunity to request and receive an exemption to the vaccine requirement for a documented medical contraindication or a sincerely held religious belief. (In medicine, a contraindication is a condition that serves as a reason not to take a certain medical treatment due to the harm that it would cause the patient.)

Exempted students and those individuals in the process of becoming fully vaccinated will be required to participate in asymptomatic screening, face covering requirements and other safety practices to participate in on-campus activities.

Every University campus, including UMF, will host vaccination clinics on campus or will work to connect students, faculty and staff with community-based vaccination resources as part of Welcome Back to Campus activities. Details on this below.

All members of the university community who are able to are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated regardless of location or instruction modality.

No.  Asking students if they are vaccinated may prompt unwanted disclosure of protected health information or disability status. Due to the power differential between faculty / staff and students, asking students whether they are vaccinated may put them in a situation where they feel that they have no choice but to answer, even if they would prefer not to.

No.  The supervisor can not require the student workers in their area to be vaccinated. If the employee has a concern and needs accommodation because they are immunocompromised, the employee should work with HR to address their accommodation.

No.  Food and drink is not allowed during classes.

No.  Students will follow the masking guidelines of the schools / places they are at for internships, student teaching, etc.  While at their placements, students will follow the masking policies of the settings.

In general, face coverings should have multiple layers covering the nose, mouth and chin and be secured snugly with ear loops or ties behind the person’s head.

UMF will provide two approved face coverings to employees, but please use your own, too, if you can.

“Cloth Face Covering” as defined by our Maine civil authorities is a protection that covers the nose and mouth; fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; is secured with ties or ear loops; has multiple layers of fabric which cover the nose, mouth and chin; allows for breathing without restriction; and is able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to its shape.

Accepted:  Cloth face coverings as defined above, clear masks, dust masks, disposable masks and KN95s are approved face coverings.

Not accepted: Respirators or face coverings with exhalation valve, neck gaiters, bandanna-style coverings with an open bottom, face shields by itself (without also wearing a cloth face covering), “creative” face coverings including a paper bag, large plastic bottle, goalie mask, Halloween mask, etc.

See the UMaine System’s Do I need to wear a face covering? for a lengthy description and images as to what does and does not meet the System requirements.

Chancellor Malloy’s June 16 update on the University of Maine System’s approach to the open of the 2021 Fall Semester outlined details for employees to keep in mind as they plan for their return to pre-pandemic work modalities and the onsite presence that is so important for a vibrant campus community and in delivering on our commitments to students, the state and each other.

At the same time, he also recognized not everyone will have the same exact considerations as we approach the open of the academic year.

See the University of Maine System Remote Work Guidelines page, which includes a link to the detailed Remote Work Guidelines (see more below), Remote Work Decision Tree, Remote Work Decision-making Tool, a formal Remote Work Agreement form, and more.

Employees are encouraged to access the above tools in preparation for important conversations with their supervisor or manager. System Human Resources Partners are also available to answer questions.

Purpose

Remote work can benefit the University of Maine System, employees, and communities in many ways. It can increase productivity and job satisfaction; improve retention and recruitment; reduce commuting costs, congestion, and pollution; and offer employees greater flexibility.

The University of Maine System considers voluntary remote work when consistent with the needs of the University and an employee’s department. Remote work is a voluntary scheduled alternative work arrangement that permits an employee to work remotely during part or all of the workweek.

Decisions about requests to remote work will be made consistent with the provisions of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or employee handbook.

These guidelines apply to continuing or recurring remote work arrangements (for example, every Wednesday). Temporary, brief, or occasional remote work – for example, to complete a short-term special project or when an employee needs to work remotely to care for a sick family member – are not subject to the guidelines.

Definitions

Remote Work: When employees carry out their work duties away from the office. Also referred to as Telecommuting and Telework. Remote work does not need to be all or nothing, and certain jobs are more conducive to a remote work option than others.

Options are as follows:

  • Ongoing Remote: The job role is determined to be remote
  • Hybrid Remote: The job role is determined to be a combination of remote and in-person
  • Crisis Remote: The job role is primarily, permanently or ideally in-person. A crisis prompts the role to become temporarily remote
  • Present On-Site: The job requires on-site placement; it is geographically dependent. Remote is not an option, even in crisis situations

Eligibility

According to the published University of Maine System Remote Work Guidelines, remote work is available to regular and temporary staff who:

  • Have successfully completed their probationary period (unless remote work is a condition for accepting employment)
  • Have a record of satisfactory job performance
  • Have work responsibilities that can be performed remotely without adversely affecting quality, productivity, and the needs of the University
  • Have ongoing access to telephone and Internet remote which allow the employee to accomplish work tasks such as video training, video conferencing or more
  • Have a dedicated workspace that meets privacy and ergonomic requirements through annual review of safety checklist

Employees may request to work remotely. Management has sole authority to approve or deny requests.

If a request is denied, the employee may ask for a review by the University Human Resources office.

Criteria

  • Remote work is not suitable or practical for all work or all positions. It is generally not an option for positions involving a high level of student, employee, or public contact or requiring use of tools, equipment, or information that is available only at the University worksite. Work activities which require any type of hazard identification and mitigation, or the use of OSHA’s hierarchy of controls (other than ergonomic considerations) are not suitable work activities for remote work
  • Out of State Remote Work: There are significant legal and tax implications when employees work outside of Maine and outside of the United States. Managers must contact their Human Resources Partner prior to approving an employee to work outside of Maine / U.S.
  • It may be expected that an employee be available to work on-site and/or participate in on-site events upon request.

Conditions

Remote work arrangements must be documented in a written agreement approved by the immediate supervisor and the appropriate manager. A copy will be placed in the employee’s personnel file and sent to the University Human Resources office. Any changes to the remote work agreement will also be documented and retained in the personnel file.

See the Conditions in the University of Maine System Remote Work Guidelines. They are quite lengthy.

No.  Faculty should not accommodate students by accommodating / converting to another course modality (such as hybrid or all online) unless approved to do so by senior academic leaders.

The CDC recommends avoiding them, so please discuss your options with Catering before making final decisions.

Yes and No.

  • Students who have provided confirmation of being fully vaccinated do not have to participate in Fall Asymptomatic Testing.
  • Students who are exempt from being vaccinated are required to participate in Asymptomatic Testing.

Yes.  Visitors are again welcome on campus.

Just remember, face coverings are required inside University facilities regardless of vaccination status.

Face coverings are not required outdoors on campus but are strongly encouraged.

  • Admissions Office:  Mon – Fri, 8:00am – 4:30pm
  • Emery Community Arts Center:  Mon – Fri, 7:00am – 7:00pm
  • Franklin Hall:  Mon – Fri, 8:00am – 4:30pm
  • Fusion Space Building:  Mon – Fri, 8:00am – 4:30pm
  • Mantor Library:  Mon – Fri, 8:00am – 10:30pm; Sat: 12:00pm – 5:30pm; Sun, 11:00am -11:00pm
  • Merrill Hall:  Mon – Fri, 8:00am – 4:30pm
  • Olsen Student Center:  5:00am – 10:00pm

Yes.  When a department invites visitors to UMF, the following protocols are required:

  • As the host, you must inform your visitors of our indoor face covering requirement prior to their visit.
  • If any visitors are showing symptoms of a communicable disease such as persistent cough, or otherwise are not following UMF health and safety protocols, they should be asked to leave campus.

Yes. The campus is hosting events. There may still be pandemic-related requirements that might be applicable. Please continue to work with the Conference and Events Office to schedule space.  Part of the space request process will be submitting a Reservation Request / Event Plan. Contact the UMF Conferences & Events Office for details eleight@maine.edu

We’ve created this handy COVID-19 Guidance (pdf) flow chart for you to follow if you don’t feel well. But please don’t hesitate to contact the Student Health Center umf.healthcenter@maine.edu

No.  Fully-vaccinated people are exempt from both weekly asymptomatic testing and from quarantine following a known exposure to a COVID-19 positive person if they are asymptomatic.

Yes.  Tutoring is available through the Student Learning Commons. Classroom accommodations for students with disabilities continue to be available through the Learning Assistance Center.

Counseling will be held both in-person and virtually.

Mostly No.

  • We anticipate the UMF Snow Cats program at Titcomb Mountain will be held again this coming winter
  • Sweatt-Winter Early Care and Education Center – Yes, but is not accepting new families at this time
  • UMF Preschool – No
  • UMF Infant-Toddler Playgroups – No
  • UMF / RSU9 Public Pre-K Collaboration – Schedule To Be Determined
  • Fitness & Rec Center Cradles & Crayons Children’s Program – No
  • Fitness & Rec Center Children’s After School Program – No

Farmington-specific Messages

We have developed a series of pages to help guide you on our COVID-19 plans. Because COVID information is being updated more quickly we recommend you check back frequently as we will update our Communication Updates and FAQs.

UMF Communication Updates FAQ for Students & Parents FAQ for Employees FAQ for General Public & Visitors FAQ for Vendors, Suppliers & Contractors

Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns please contact Human Resources.

Human Resources
Amie Parker

SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Human Resource Director
Title IX Coordinator for UMF Employees
tel  207-778-7083
UMaine System HR contacts
amie.parker@maine.edu

Alyssa Anaya
SHRM-CP, PHR
Senior HR Partner
Title IX Coordinator for University Services employees located at UMF
tel  207-581-5857
alyssa.anaya@maine.edu


The University consistently seeks to take steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections (or any other spread of disease) in accordance with applicable law, regulation, and guidance provided by health authorities. These efforts may include policies and safeguards implemented by the University such as symptom checks, social distancing, use of facial coverings, and isolating and quarantining when required. Despite these efforts, the University cannot categorically guarantee that any person entering University campuses or facilities will not contract COVID-19 or any other communicable disease and any such person must assess and accept the risks of illness or injury for themselves.