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UMaine prepares campus for fall semester amid pandemic

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 5:32 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - Robert Dana, Vice President of UMaine Student Life, says that despite the pandemic students won’t lose “the college experience.”

Freshmen enrollment at the University of Maine is similar to last year, with around 2,100 students scheduled to start the fall semester at the end of the month.

“We’ve interacted with our student’s faculty and staff and I think everybody is ready to do the heavy lifting that requires us all to be safe,” said Dana.

The threat of COVID-19 has forced the university to adapt with new safety measures all across campus.

"The University is running a public health campaign and has preventative measures in place. You can see when you look around campus there are a lot of safety features."

The library, dining areas, and the campus bookstore all have changes designed to better prevent transmission of the virus.

Plexiglass barriers, 300 additional hand sanitizing stations, signage, free masks, and floor markings are all evident.

"We'll have super cleaning protocols in the residence halls. Students will live two to a room generally."

Students will be tested for COVID before entering residence halls and again a little over a week later.

If the infection is found or suspected, students will have a place to go with support.

“We have the entire building of Knox set aside for this purpose we also have some apartments set aside upon hilltop for our quarantine students.”

Hand washing, masks, and physical distancing are all vital parts of the plan, meaning the most important element is a personal responsibility.

"Everybody will be here to help but you've got to be part of the solution just like I do."

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