Frequently Asked Questions for Students & Parents

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. We are also working to develop additional FAQs. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns, please contact us at: umf.safereturn@maine.edu  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Updated August 13, 2020


Classes at Farmington will begin Monday, August 31. They will be a combination of in-person, blended and online modalities.

The University will be closed Monday, October 12 in observation of the Indigenous Peoples state holiday.

All classes will shift to remote learning after Wednesday, November 25 — the day before Thanksgiving. Students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving.

We plan to begin Spring Semester classes January 19.

We have set the following Move-In and COVID-19 Testing schedule to allow us to limit gathering sizes and keep you and our staff safe.

Move-In and COVID-19 testing for New First-Year resident students and Transfer resident students — Tuesday, August 18

For the purposes of social distancing and keep the testing and move-in process running smoothly we have broken the First-Year Student group into three sections by last name with assigned times:

  • 8am to 10am  Those with last names beginning with A-F
  • 10am to 12pm  Those with last names beginning with G-O
  • 12pm to 2pm  Those with last names beginning with P-Z
  • 2pm to 4pm  Any First-Year resident student or Transfer resident student who missed their earlier time, above

Move-In and COVID-19 testing for Returning resident students — Monday, August 24

  • 10am – 2pm

Important:

For both Move-In Days we have very little flexibility with the COVID-19 testing times, so please arrive on your scheduled date and time.

Alternatively, you may arrive with documentation of a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test performed within 72 hours before your arrival. If you get your own PCR test, send their results to umf.healthcenter@maine.edu

Arriving outside of your assigned day and time or without a negative PCR test result documentation will result in a 14-day quarantine.

We highly recommend you take your COVID-19 test upon arrival to campus. Our tests are free of charge and have a turnaround time of up to 72 hours. Outside tests are harder to access, may cost a great deal, and the wait time for your results could delay your arrival to campus.

See Move-In Info for New and Returning Students for additional details including detailed itineraries and Check-In info for the Move-In day(s).

Yes. All students, faculty and staff, the general public and visitors will be required to wear an appropriate face covering at all times on the Farmington campus, property and facilities — both indoors and outside, with just 5 exceptions:

  1. When a person is alone in an office or other room with a closed door
  2. When a person is alone outside in a space where and when they can reasonably expect to be alone and they
    have a face covering available in the event it is needed
  3. When eating or drinking
  4. When a situation (i.e. childcare settings) or a person (i.e. children younger than 2) are specifically exempted by
    Maine civil authorities
  5. In other special circumstances as may be determined by campus leadership

If you have a disability that prevents you from wearing a face covering and need accommodation, please notify the Learning Assistance Center.

A safety kit, including two face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be given to each student upon arrival.

More details are available in the full Safe Return to Farmington (pdf)

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, but please bring some of your own 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, Mexican wrestling 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.

Students with disabilities who cannot wear a mask and require accommodation should notify the Learning Assistance Center if they require classroom accommodations. Decisions are made on an individual basis.

In addition to face coverings, students, faculty and staff will socially distance themselves at all times. A safety kit, including two face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be given to each student upon arrival. More details are available in our Safe Return to Farmington (pdf)

The University of Maine System entered into an agreement with Convenient MD and the Jackson Laboratories to conduct an asymptomatic testing program in our community as one part of our comprehensive Safe Return to Campus efforts. The goal of the asymptomatic testing program is to assure that we begin the Fall 2020 academic semester with as healthy of a campus community as possible.

Asymptomatic testing means testing people who are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. It is designed as a preventative measure, as people may carry and pass on the virus without even knowing they have the virus.  

  • All students who will be living in the residence halls
  • All commuter students taking any classes on campus who have been out of Maine within 14 days before coming onto campus
  • All student-athletes, all seasons
  • Any faculty or staff members teaching or working on campus who have been out of Maine within 14 days before coming onto campus

We have three days for testing on our campus, and have scheduled testing for the following groups:

Tuesday, August 11

  • All Community Assistants
  • All Orientation Leaders who will be living on campus and commuters who have been out of Maine after July 28
  • All Summer Hall residents who will be transitioning to their fall housing assignments

Tuesday, August 18

  • All First-Year students living the residence halls, including First-Year student-athletes, will be tested on their Move-In Day, Tuesday, August 18
  • All First-Year commuter students and students residing off-campus and who have: (a) been out of Maine after August 7  and  (b) will be attending in-person Orientation sessions
  • All Transfer students living in the residence halls, including Transfer student-athletes, will be tested on their Move-In Day, Tuesday, August 18

Monday, August 24

  • All returning students living in the residence halls, including returning student athletes, will be tested on their Move-In Day, Monday, August 24
  • All Commuter students and students residing off-campus who have been out of Maine within 14 days of returning to campus will be tested on Monday, August 24
  • All Commuter students and student-athletes residing off-campus will be tested on Monday, August 24.

After the tests are administered, students, faculty and staff will be required to “shelter in place” (i.e. stay in their rooms or homes) until the results come back, anticipated to be within 48-72 hours.

There is no cost for this test to students, faculty and staff being tested.

Yes. If you fall into one of the above categories and therefore require testing, you do not have to participate in the University-sponsored asymptomatic testing program described above, but you still need to get tested and provide a negative test result before coming to campus.  

An alternative would be to get your own COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test through a non-University health care provider. Within 72 hours of receiving the result, you must provide documentation which will allow you to move on to campus, return to work or classes on campus. Alternatively, you may arrive with documentation of a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test performed within 72 hours before your arrival. If you get your own PCR test, send their results to umf.healthcenter@maine.edu

Yes. It will consist of online trainings and activities, as well as some in-person event options that will follow social distancing guidelines. We will have a schedule of Orientation events, including Move-In dates soon. Keep checking the Move-In Days & Orientation page.

That’s fine. All Orientation trainings and activities will be available through remote options.

Facilities Management has been working non-stop on modifying campus as we know it into an appropriately distanced and sanitized environment, one we can return to and feel safe in. Classroom layouts are being adjusted to allow for a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing between individuals. The new classroom layouts have been redesigned for social distancing and “COVID-19 capacity (i.e. fewer students per classroom). Hand sanitizer stations are being placed all over campus and each classroom will be equipped with hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. In addition, hallway traffic will be arranged to improve flow and avoid traffic jams. More details are available in our Safe Return to Farmington (pdf)

Students with medical and other conditions can request accommodations through our Learning Assistance Center.

No. After careful consideration of health and safety data, protocols, sports medicine guidelines and the increased risk associated with competition, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our fall 2020 competition schedule for varsity sports. This difficult decision was recommended by the UMF Department of Athletics, with the full support of the University’s senior leadership team.

We will continue to monitor the pandemic and health implications closely and work with our athletic conferences, the NCAA and local opponents to determine what is possible as the academic year progresses.

Waivers to preserve seasons of student-athlete eligibility have already been approved and other ideas and legislative proposals are being developed for consideration.

A decision regarding Club Sports will be coming soon.

Yes. After careful consideration of health and safety data, protocols, sports medicine guidelines the facility will be open to students, staff and members of the public. It will have different operating hours and new protocols.

Cloth face coverings are required in the facility at all times, even when working out.

Initially, the facility will be open Monday – Friday: 6am – 1pm and 3pm – 8pm. Saturday & Sunday: Closed. The hours of operation will continually be reevaluated and we will expand them as we are able and permitted. During the initial phase of opening, the pool, locker room / showers, walking-jogging track and basketball courts will be closed. There will also be no Cradles & Crayons Children’s Program or Children’s After School Program.

Yes. Mainely Outdoors Program gear rentals will be available. Days and hours of operation TBA.

Each internship, field work, practicum, and student teaching setting is different. We are working with all of our community and school partners to determine what in-person or alternate experiences will be feasible this fall. We are also reviewing what experiences we can support on campus.

We will practice social distancing, utilize face coverings and provide Zoom access to some programs.

No. Unfortunately, because we will be unable to hold this weekend full of large events in a socially distanced manner, Family Friends Fall Fest is cancelled this year.

No. Unfortunately, there will be no Halloween dance this year. We will to wait to see what the Spring Semester looks like before making a decision on the Spring Fling Dance.

Yes. Residence Halls will be open this fall with a complement of living options. Dining Services will be provided, and the dining halls and retail operations have been updated for social distancing and safety. Self-serve dining options will no longer be available.

Yes. However, you may request a waiver from the first-year campus residency requirement. If you would like to request a waiver, please contact the Office of Admissions umfadmit@maine.edu

South Dining Hall will be open but there will be changes to the number of students who can be in South Dining Hall, to traffic flow, and to service. For instance,  students will be served food, as opposed to self-serve. All meals, beverages, condiments, etc., will be served until restrictions are lifted at all locations.

We will also have directional signage, social distance markers at entrances / stations, seating (if able) socially distanced, and dining hall staff will be 6 feet apart at all locations including in the kitchen area.

If you have any dietary needs, please send them to umf.safereturn@maine.edu

There will more take-out options available. No determination has yet been made on capacity levels / seating.

At least for the Fall Semester, the kitchens in each of the residence halls will be closed. You will still be able to use the sinks for washing dishes. Note: We are still in discussions about the communal kitchen in Lockwood Hall. We will contact Lockwood Hall student residents soon.

Yes. There will be no change to laundry facilities.

It depends on where you will be living. Contact the Merrill Student Services Center at 207-778-7100 or e-mail umfaid@maine.edu for more information.

Our current plan is to not allow visitors for the first two weeks of the Fall Semester to ensure a safe transition to campus. After the first two weeks, we plan to allow one guest per resident in the residence halls. This will be reevaluated as the semester progresses.

Yes. We will still have programs in the residence halls and on campus. There may be some limits on maximum attendance capacity. There will also be virtual programming options.

You will likely see that some common area furniture has been removed to help with social distancing. There will still be space to socialize, do homework and watch TV.

Yes. The Student Health Center will provide “Call-in Care” instead of walk-in care for scheduling same day appointments. The front entrance will be unlocked daily with the door entrance to the waiting room remaining locked. Clear signage will be posted with the phone number / email and instructions for entry.

A COVID-19 pre-screen will be performed on all patients prior to entrance. Any patient pre-screened for COVID-19 with positive findings will enter the Student Health Center through a specifically designated separate entrance / location (conference room). This is the only room designated for symptomatic patients that allows for ventilation.

Student Health Center staff will have completely donned PPE prior to the patient’s arrival. This PPE will include fit-tested N95 masks. Any instruments used during evaluation will be completely sanitized as well as furniture wiped down.

The foyer will be limited to 1 patient at a time and waiting room will be limited to 3 patients at a time with chairs spaced appropriately 6 feet apart. The receptionist area will have additional plexiglass installed. Patients and staff must wear masks / face coverings or a face shield — no exceptions. Exam rooms, bathrooms and lab will be sanitized after every visit. The waiting room will be sanitized hourly or as often as staff can manage.

Appointments with Nurse Practitioner (NP) and Psychiatric Mental Health NP (Shelley and Penn) will be staggered to minimize the number of patients in the Student Health Center at one time. Patients will call the front desk when they arrive and will be met by the Medical Assistant (MA) at the door and escorted to an exam room. Routine health care and follow-ups will continue through telehealth, as appropriate, to limit face to face visits as much as possible.

The Student Health Center will provide “Call-in Care” instead of walk-in care for scheduling same day appointments. The front entrance will be unlocked daily with the door entrance to the waiting room remaining locked. Clear signage will be posted with the phone number / email and instructions for entry.

A COVID-19 pre-screen will be performed on all patients prior to entrance. Any patient pre-screened for COVID-19 with positive findings will enter the Student Health Center through a specifically designated separate entrance / location (conference room). This is the only room designated for symptomatic patients that allows for ventilation.

Student Health Center staff will have completely donned PPE prior to the patient’s arrival. This PPE will include fit-tested N95 masks. Any instruments used during evaluation will be completely sanitized as well as furniture wiped down.

The foyer will be limited to 1 patient at a time and waiting room will be limited to 3 patients at a time with chairs spaced appropriately 6 feet apart. The receptionist area will have additional plexiglass installed. Patients and staff must wear masks / face coverings or a face shield — no exceptions. Exam rooms, bathrooms and lab will be sanitized after every visit. The waiting room will be sanitized hourly or as often as staff can manage.

Appointments with Nurse Practitioner (NP) and Psychiatric Mental Health NP (Shelley and Penn) will be staggered to minimize the number of patients in the Student Health Center at one time. Patients will call the front desk when they arrive and will be met by the Medical Assistant (MA) at the door and escorted to an exam room. Routine health care and follow-ups will continue through telehealth, as appropriate, to limit face to face visits as much as possible.

Due to the size of counseling offices, social distancing is not possible, so we will use telemental health.

Yes. If a student becomes sick with COVID-19, we will have isolation space on campus for them while they recuperate.

Campus Dining will prepare the food that can be ordered either through the mobile app, a call, or via email. If a student is not in quarantine, a roommate or another student can pick up their food and deliver it to them. If the student is in quarantine, someone in the Student Life Office will deliver their food.

Advisors will work with you to support you individual learning needs.

We anticipate that changes to the course schedule will be shared with you by early August.

If a professor is ill, and more than a class or two will be missed, arrangements will be made for the successful continuation of the course.

Yes. We encourage people to call, e-mail, set up zoom meetings, use live chat, upload documents securely into an electronic drop box, etc., as much as possible to minimize contact.

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

Yes. We plan to have the library open for its regular semester hours.

We will provide disinfectant wipes for technology: computers, circulating equipment, etc. Books that have been returned or used within the library will be quarantined for 72 hours before being placed back on the shelf. (Professional studies have shown this to be enough time for any potentially present COVID-19 to die off.) Plexiglass shields are present at the circulation desk and patrons will be able to check-out their own material, touch-free. Reference services will be provided over Zoom, with a link installed on each computer in the library providing direct access to a reference librarian.

Mantor Library will be open to the public by appointment only and curbside checkout service will be available to public library patrons.

Yes. But the number of staff and visitors will be limited due to social distancing requirements.

Possibly. Excursions will be held in line with UMF and Maine guidance for travel, both of which can change depending on changing COVID circumstances.

Yes. Testing Services will be open as of July 15, 2020. As with everyplace on campus, masks will be required in the Testing Center.

Mostly no. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the following Programs for Children will not be operating this fall.

  • 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

The University of Maine System has prepared a broad System-wide resources page and FAQ for Students.

UMaine System Site FAQ for Students UMaine System's Together for Maine site

In addition, there’s a recording of the interactive Virtual Town Halls for New and Returning UMF Students held on July 2.


Contact Us

We are working to develop additional FAQs and to add to the one here. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns, please contact us at: umf.safereturn@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.