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University of Maine System requires vaccination for on-campus students

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 1:50 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The University of Maine Systems has updated their vaccine policy in light of the delta variant.

The highly contagious delta variant has cause the reinstatement of masking recommendations across the US, and now, University of Maine Chancellor Dannel Malloy says it has pushed their campuses to universally require vaccines

“The delta variant is a game changer... we needed to expedite our requirement of all students who use our campus facilities to be vaccinated and to begin that process by august 20th,” said Malloy.

Remote students may continue their studies without a vaccine, and those who have documented religious and medical exemptions may return to campus. But Exempted and partially vaccinated students will need to mask and complete regular testing on campus.

“We have such a wide range of individuals who are coming from their own parts of the country...we are trying to ensure that everyone here has the same level of security so that they are safe when they’re on our campus and they are safe when they’re off our campus and that serves the people in the community as well if we know that everyone on our campus is vaccinated,” said Ray Rice, president of UMPI.

UMaine campuses are offering incentives, like giveaways, to encourage vaccinations , and Deb Hedeen, president of UMFK, says the delta variant and the return of students to campus provided incentive enough for UMaine’s new policy

“We are so thrilled for students to be coming back onto  campus this fall, we have great plans all these activities planned, events that will be taking place and we are just getting again very excited about their return,” said Hedeen.

UMaine Systems is still putting together policy for faculty and staff.

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