The University of Maine at Farmington has implemented a number of strategies to minimize the community’s exposure to the coronavirus including socially-distanced safety markers outside of the Mantor Library. Students from left to right, Luke Bliss, roommates Erik Larkin and Louis Melendez, roommates Jack Leonard and Samuel True and roommates Lilly Solorzano and Ashley Ray. Andrea Swiedom/Franklin Journal

 

FARMINGTON — On Wednesday, Oct. 21, University of Maine at Farmington President Edward Serna announced in an email that two more students have tested positive for COVID-19. There are now a total of three active, confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the UMF student body.

“The individuals are currently in isolation and their roommate(s) has been moved into quarantine. Both students are receiving appropriate support at this time,” Serna said in Wednesday morning’s email.

UMF reports all positive test results to the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) which conducts contact tracing with the University’s support. By Wednesday afternoon, Serna had informed the UMF community that all individuals who may have come in close contact with the three students that tested positive had been notified.

UMF is in Phase 4 of testing which consists of random, asymptomatic testing in rounds that occur over the course of 10 days. The last round of testing will conclude by Nov. 25 when students will transition to fully-remote learning modalities for the remainder of the fall semester.

“Phases 1, 2, and 3 revealed no positive tests,” Serna wrote in his email on Wednesday. “We have just completed Phase 4 of testing, which included all on-campus students and 100 randomly selected off-campus students, faculty, and staff.”

This is Phase III of a system-wide testing plan set forth by the University of Maine which is currently administering 2,000 asymptomatic tests in each 10-day round.

In regards to campus potentially shutting down, Serna said there is not protocol in place for a specific number of cases, but that the consideration would be based on over a dozen other factors.

“Campus-level assessments are based on a variety of epidemiological and other data, both quantitative and qualitative. These data include, but are not limited to: new case rates; positivity rates for the university, the region, and the state; and, the guidance of civil authorities for K-12 education in the region,” Serna wrote in his email.

Ultimately, the decision to close campus will be made in collaboration with Serna, the University of Maine Chancellor and the Board of Trustees.

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