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Health

Vaccinated UMaine System Students No Longer Need To Quarantine For Potential COVID-19 Exposure

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Corey Templeton
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Flickr/Creative Commons
The University of Southern Maine's Portland campus in 2016.

Fully vaccinated, asymptomatic students at the University of Maine System will no longer need to quarantine if they've potentially been exposed to COVID-19.

Current state policy says that individuals defined as close contacts must quarantine for 10 days. University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy says the hope is that the new exemption for vaccinated students will encourage others to get their shots.

"So this, we do hope, will be one piece of the suite of encouragements that we're offering to folks to say, 'Please be vaccinated. Please do what you can do for your community and keep yourself safe,'" she says.

The UMaine system currently has 71 active cases of the virus, with 29 community members quarantining in designated spaces provided by the university. University of Southern Maine Junior Emily Colby says when she had to quarantine this spring, she missed out on in-person classes, track practice and her part-time job.

"The social isolation — the few people I was able to see, I no longer was able to have that contact with, in-person. And you're stuck in your room, trying to do your classes via Zoom," she says.

A growing list of colleges, including Brunswick's Bowdoin College and Bar Harbor's College of the Atlantic, have announced plans to mandate vaccinations in the fall. UMaine system officials say they're currently encouraging vaccinations but haven't established requirements for the fall.

A recent survey of UMaine system students found that about 75% either have been vaccinated or plan to be.