Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
I asked a close colleague, who recently got his second shot, what he was most looking forward to after two weeks had passed and he was considered fully vaccinated.
“Having my father over for dinner,” he said. “Since my mother passed away, he lives alone. I miss not being able to serve him his favorite meal that my mother used to make.”
The pandemic has required many sacrifices for the common good. Time with loved ones is among the hardest things to forgo. But this period of loss doesn’t have to last indefinitely. We know how to break the pandemic, and we have the means to do it.
Maine recently surpassed one million vaccines delivered and continues to lead the nation in participation. What’s also true is that Maine’s seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases is now more than double what it was just a month ago — and most of the growth in cases is among those who only recently have had access to the vaccine.
If you haven’t yet taken the steps to get vaccinated, please do so. It’s the fastest way back to normal and time with loved ones.
With best wishes for good health,
President, The University of Southern Maine
Beth's Advising Tip of the Week: "Reach out when you need us, and be kind to yourself."
Hannah, Jon, and Dr. Shah's Vaccination Video
Fully Vaccinated Are Now Exempt From 10-Day Quarantine
Following consultation with state public health officials, the University of Maine System is exempting fully vaccinated, asymptomatic individuals from quarantine requirements if they come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Someone is fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving a J&J shot or 14 days after their second Pfizer or Moderna shot.
Maine residents 16 and older are now able to get their COVID-19 vaccine. That means every member of the USM community is now eligible. Show your USM ID Card at a vaccination clinic, and it will be accepted as proof of eligibility.
- Northern Light Health is booking appointments now
- Transittogether.org has compiled a list of vaccination sites and provides information on free transportation to and from COVID-19 vaccination appointments
The Maine CDC mobile unit is moving from Windham to Biddeford and setting up at Biddeford High School starting on Saturday, April 24, through Wednesday, April 28. Vaccinations are free. Appointments are available, but not required. To book an appointment, call the State's Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111. The vaccine provided will be the two-dose Moderna vaccine (for those 18 years old and up). If you need assistance getting to the clinic site, please call (48 hours prior to your appointment) 1-855-608-5172. For general information on vaccinations in Maine please visit www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines.
Testing During Ramadan
For Huskies who will be fasting in observance of the holy month of Ramadan, from the evening of April 12 through May 12, USM's Asymptomatic Testing Team encourages you to take your COVID test as early in the morning as possible. This will provide you with the best chance of being hydrated enough to produce a valid sample. Test centers will be open at 8 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday at the Gorham Ice Arena, 8 a.m. Tuesday through Friday at 109/110 Abromson in Portland, and 9 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday in Rm. 283 at Lewiston-Auburn Campus. If you are have having difficulty making this work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Testing Is Required — Even If You're Vaccinated
A reminder that per System policy, students, faculty, and staff who have an on-campus presence are required to participate in asymptomatic testing — even if they are fully vaccinated.
Will You Be Coming to Campus This Week?
Faculty, staff, and non-residential students, please continue to let us know your anticipated weekly presence on campus by completing the One-Time or Intermittent Visit to USM Form. Your responses help us better understand the population that should participate in weekly asymptomatic screening. If you have questions about the form, please contact email@example.com and see the FAQ page on USM’s Asymptomatic COVID Testing site.
Scheduling Your Next Testing Appointment with PointnClick
The Safer Community mobile app has been replaced by PointnClick, a more straightforward web portal that can be accessed by smartphone, tablet, or computer.
For the remainder of this semester, please sign up for weekly testing using the PointnClick web portal.
- Sign in to the PointnClick portal using your USM username and password.
- Step-by-step instructions are available and for PointnClick support, please contact the IT Help Desk.
- Testing Ambassadors will be available on-site to answer questions.
Watch: Connor’s Pro Tips on How to Pool Your Drool
What To Do If You Test Positive
Students who test positive as part of the UMS asymptomatic screening may receive notice of their result through an alert sent from the ClicknPoint web portal. If you receive a notice that you have tested positive or you have been informed that your roommate or housemate has tested positive, there are some important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. And perhaps the most important don’t is don’t panic. Please see these instructions for on-campus students and off-campus students to know what to do, what not to do, and what supports are in place to help you. (Scroll down to the "Students: If you test positive for COVID-19" option on the page at the link above.)
Housing Waitlist Is in Effect
USM's Housing team reports that the self-select housing process is complete. Four hundred and seventy-three students went through the process and have selected their spaces for the fall. If you are interested in applying for fall 2021 housing but have not done so already, you can access the application in the housing portal. Once you have applied, you will receive a waitlist position and will be able to see in real-time where you are in line for a space. Over the summer, the Housing team will communicate with all fall 2021 residential students and share move-in information, housing policies, and other details.
Advising Wants to See You
USM's Advising Team recommends that you book your registration appointment with your advisor through their "youcanbook.me" site or by calling the Advising Office front desk: 207-780-4040 (Portland) or 207-780-4555 (Gorham). Learn more about how to access Advising support via Zoom and the team's Virtual Front Desk.
The Spring 2021 Pass/Fail Option Deadline Is May 28
Concerned about a grade you earned this semester? Thinking about asking to change a letter grade to pass/fail grading in one or more of your classes? Making the switch to P/F isn't difficult. Just follow these steps by Friday, May 28.
Spring Fling Week Activities Continue Through Saturday
Socially distanced live music, mini-golf, barbecue, tie-dye, carnival games, giveaways, and more are on the Spring Fling Week Activities menu. Learn more about how to participate on the Student Activities website.
SilverCloud Online Mental Health Tool Available for Students
In addition to Zoom workshops, support groups, and individual counseling appointments, USM's Counseling Team offers SilverCloud, a free, online mental health tool for USM students. SilverCloud provides self-guided programs to help students cope with anxiety, depression, stress, sleep issues, and resilience. Based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles, the self-guided modules are available anytime, on any device. The SilverCloud website provides an overview of options and a brief quiz to help you find the right program and get started. (Log in with your USM email and password.)
Counseling Services' Spring Groups & Workshops
If you are struggling with your mental health, USM's Counseling Services team encourages you to call their front desk at (207) 780-4050 to set up an individual counseling appointment. And please keep in mind that they still have some groups and workshops that are open to new members.
Lower Your Stress with Mindful Mondays
Academic Advisor and Nationally Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) Katie Tomer will continue to offer Mindful Mondays from 4:45 to 5:15 p.m. every Monday, excluding university holidays. This ongoing Zoom-baed program is open to all students, faculty, and staff. Participants are invited to learn and practice evidence-based breathing and meditation techniques that have been shown to lower stress levels and increase well-being. Join Mindful Mondays through this Zoom link.
For Graduate Students: The New Shaw Innovation Fellows Program
The Shaw Innovation Fellows Program at USM, a distinctive initiative launched with a $500,000 gift from USM alum David Evans Shaw ’76G, ’15H and the Shaw family, will provide select USM graduate students with fellowships for innovative and applied research projects. Emphasizing mentoring, collaboration, and engagement — and integrated with USM’s Promise Scholarship Program — the Shaw Innovation Fellows Program will award five one-year fellowships will be to USM graduate students whose projects demonstrate bold and innovative approaches to solving human, environmental, economic, and societal problems of the 21st century and beyond. Learn more about the Shaw Innovation Fellows Program.
Campus Food Pantry Offers Pre-Order and Pickup
With this Google form, you can now pre-order a weekly bag of groceries for pickup from the Campus Food Pantries in Portland (102 Bedford Street) and Gorham (in the UCU Den of Brooks Student Center). Pickup times for the Portland and Gorham CFP are listed on the Google Form. LAC students can find food security support in the LAC Library or by emailing CFP staff. Please see the CFP website for hours of operation in Portland, Gorham, and LAC.
Sometimes Required, Sometimes Recommended: When to Use the COVID-19 Reporting Form
Employee and student use of the COVID-19 Reporting Form is sometimes required and sometimes recommended, but not required. Learn more about when the COVID-19 Reporting Form must be used and when it can be used at your discretion at the Healthy Huskies website.
Need a Study Buddy? Use Navigate USM
With the free Navigate USM app, you can easily find a study buddy for a class, see campus events, build to-do lists, manage your class schedule, explore careers related to majors and interests, find out if you have holds on your accounts, and check out campus resources — all in one place. Learn how to find and download the app.
Your Passport to Fun Activities
USM’s Passport Initiative is your ticket to access campus programs, events, and the USM community. With uniquely numbered and assigned passports, undergraduate students can earn multiple chances to win valuable prizes — all for nothing more than having fun. The more passport-approved events you attend, the more times your name gets added to end-of-semester raffles for a PlayStation 5, an Xbox Series X, an iPad Air, Apple Watch, a book stipend, and Husky Bucks among other prizes. Check the Passport Initiative website for information about upcoming events.
Find a Zoom Lounge Location
USM has designated several spaces on all three campuses for socially distanced group study, individual quiet study, and Zoom/online course participation. Please see this updated list of Zoom lounges and study spaces for the spring semester — and don’t forget to stay socially distanced and bring headphones for use in these spaces.
How to Be More Successful on Brightspace, Zoom
With spring semester courses starting on Monday, Jan. 25, now is a good time to revisit resources on how to be a more successful learner on Brightspace and Zoom. Find out how to submit an assignment, engage in a discussion and take quizzes on Brightspace in the Student’s Guide to Brightspace video series. And the Learning with Zoom video series is just as full of pro tips. These academic resources and many others are brought to you by USM’s Academic Gains Through Improved Learning Effectiveness (AGILE) program.
These Face Coverings Are OK
By now, you know face coverings are required on campus. If you need a refresher on which face coverings are acceptable for use on campus, please see the System's Face Covering Guidelines.
Monitor Your Symptoms with #CampusClear
System-wide, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff have downloaded and signed up to use #CampusClear, the free app that provides a daily prompt to indicate any symptoms you may be experiencing. Self-screening is easy and takes only a few seconds. Learn how to download and use #CampusClear for iOS and Android.
See System-wide Campus COVID Counts
There are two ways to see the latest positive-case counts at USM and each System campus: The University of Maine System provides daily announcements of positive counts at each campus and other testing-related updates on the Together for Maine website. You can also find aggregated test result data on the System’s COVID-19 Testing Summary dashboard. (Scroll down a bit at the link to see the dashboard.)