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University of Maine System prepares to send students home safely for Thanksgiving

In the weeks leading up to the break, students and staff are being asked to remain vigilant and cautious.
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 5:28 PM EST
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) -The University of Maine System is making preparations to send students home safely for Thanksgiving break.

In the weeks leading up to the break, students and staff are being asked to remain vigilant and cautious.

“If you had told me in July when we came up with this plan that we could do this and have as few cases as we’ve had, I would’ve slept a lot easier in the months of July, August, and September than I did.” says Chancellor Dannel Malloy.

The University of Maine System has performed over 30,000 tests since July, finding 42 positive cases overall.

“All of our testing, all of our efforts were designed around getting us safely to Thanksgiving.”

Currently, there are 39 known cases of COVID among students and employees. Only six cases are residence hall students, who are in isolation.

“Quite frankly, sometimes we’ve even isolated people who have been living in off campus housing to isolate them from roommates and that sort of thing. We took them in as well.”

To keep the virus from spreading as students return to their home communities, 8000 additional tests for out-of-state and all residence hall students began Friday.

“They may be going to places that have quarantine situations if you don’t have a test.”

The remainder of the semester will be conducted remotely until exams end on December 18th

“We’ve moved January start date back a week, so classes start on the 25th as opposed to the week earlier.”

Students will not have a spring break. Classes will continue straight through to graduation.

“We’ve lent our scientists to the cause of making Maine a safer place, and the steps we’re taking around Thanksgiving and around reopening in January and the elimination of spring break is really our attempt to do best by the people of Maine.”

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