University of Maine System eases mask mandate

March 26, 2022 GMT

ORONO, Maine (AP) — The University of Maine System is lifting its mask requirement for students outside of classrooms but masks still will be required in instructional settings and at large public events, officials said.

The mask-optional requirement went into effect Saturday for students on all campuses regardless of vaccination status.

The new policy meant students didn’t have to wear masks in residence and dining halls, libraries and recreation centers.

Face coverings are still required at public events featuring more than 75 participants and in all instruction spaces unless a faculty members issues a waiver, officials said.

“We’ll consider pivoting back to face coverings if pandemic conditions worsen but, at present, we feel confident that we can be together in-person in more of our settings without face coverings so long as we continue testing, and stay up to date on our vaccinations and boosters,” Chancellor Dannel Malloy said in a statement.

The system reported a 1% positivity rate among those tested when classes resumed this week after spring break. UMS students have achieved a COVID-19 vaccination rate topping 96%.