The University of Maine System has adopted a set of principles to guide campuses in welcoming back students on Aug. 31, officials said Wednesday.
The UMS chancellor, seven campus presidents and the dean of Maine Law adopted the principles that call for screening strategies to identify and isolate infections. Students will complete the final two weeks of the semester at home after the Thanksgiving break.
"Staying together and staying safe means we all have to do our part. Until there is a medical breakthrough ending the pandemic, we will all have to prioritize personal health and public safety," said Chancellor Dannel Malloy.
The announcement came on the day the state began its third phase of reopening, including movie theaters, bowling alleys, and other venues. Bars, tasting rooms and breweries, however, will not be allowed to reopen for indoor service, and a 50-person limit remained on shared spaces.
Malloy credited the state's efforts to reduce the coronavirus' impact for making administrators more comfortable with the decision.
"Because our state leaders and public health authorities have kept the coronavirus from spreading unchecked, we have an opportunity to come together for Maine and our students this fall with science-informed plans to protect student health and limit the spread of infection on campus and in our communities," Malloy said in a statement.
The University of Maine System is partnering with Jackson Laboratory and ConvenientMD to provide coronavirus testing at its seven campuses.