PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The University of Maine System is proposing travel restrictions to limit exposure to the coronavirus by students and faculty.
UMS says it’s discouraging personal travel by students, staff or faculty outside of Maine during the fall semester and will require a quarantine or test upon return, unless the state is exempted from the requirement.
The academic calendar eliminates the traditional fall and spring breaks to discourage out-of-state travel.
“College and campus life will have to be different this year because COVID is still in charge, but with our screening strategies and sensible travel and schedule accommodations we can better protect one another and our Maine communities,” UMS Chancellor Dannel Malloy said in a statement.
In other coronavirus-related news in Maine:
Another 19 Mainers tested positive for the coronavirus but there were no new deaths, the Maine Center for Disease Control reported Thursday.
A total of 4,089 people have tested positive since the outbreak began, the Maine CDC said. The number deaths was unchanged at 126.
Most Maine teachers intend to return to classrooms this fall, but they’re concerned about their health during the pandemic. They also don’t have much faith in their students following safety protocols.
The survey provided by the Maine Department of Education to families, educators, support staff and school leaders last month indicates both teachers and parents share concerns about how well students will adhere to safety requirements necessary for schools to reopen.
Only 35% of parents said they believe students will be able to avoid physical contact and maintain social distancing, and only 38% said they believe students will wear masks, the Portland Press Herald reported.
Among educators, only 14% agreed or strongly agreed that students would be able to avoid physical contact and only 22% agreed or strongly agreed with the ability of students to wear masks, it said.
More than 45,000 people responded to the surveys, including 32,426 families, 9,733 teachers, 1,155 school or district leaders, and 1,823 school support staff. There are about 182,500 pre-K-12 students in Maine and about 50,100 people work in public schools.
Two students who participated in Foxcroft Academy’s preseason athletic workouts tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said.
The coronavirus case count grew from four to six between Tuesday and Wednesday in Picataquis County, which has the lowest infection rate in the state, according to state statistics.
Administrators at the Dover-Foxcroft school called off the preseason workouts on Tuesday.
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