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Maine’s Community Colleges Will Require Covid-19 Vaccinations For All Students This Fall

For Profit Colleges
Robert F. Bukaty
A student leaves a building at Kennebec Valley Community College, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Fairfield, Maine.

Maine Community College System (MCCS) is the latest higher education institution in Maine to require all students attending classes in person this fall be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Previously, the system only required the vaccine for students living in dorms or participating in athletics. System President David Daigler cited the surge in cases due to the delta variant as the reason for the updated policy.

“The safety of our faculty, staff and students has been our top priority throughout the pandemic. The latest information about the delta variant makes it clear we must require vaccinations to keep our community as safe as possible,” said MCCS President David Daigler in a press release Thursday.

The system joins a growing number of schools across the state and country requiring the vaccine. Maine Maritime Academy also announced a vaccine mandate Thursday for all students, following the University of Maine System’s announcement last week.

“We were very much hoping to have a return to campus that resembled a traditional ‘back to school’ experience,” said President William J. Brennan in an announcement Thursday. “Unfortunately, the emergence of the Delta variant has complicated our plans and required continual adjustments in how we think, learn, and work.”

Maine Maritime Academy students will be required to complete the vaccination process by Oct. 1, 2021.

MCCS students must show proof that they have received at least one dose of a vaccine prior to the first day of in-person classes, which begin Aug. 30. Students must then provide proof of a second shot no more than 30 days later.

Currently, masks are required indoors at Maine’s seven community colleges, regardless of vaccination status, which the system says will remain in place with the updated vaccine policy. The University of Maine System, along with several other colleges and universities in the state, are not currently requiring fully vaccinated students or staff to wear masks indoors.

Now nearly all of Maine’s colleges and universities are requiring students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall. According to Maine Public’s analysis of school policies and announcements, more than 80% of Maine’s higher education institutions have a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students.

Maine Community College System, Maine Maritime Academy and the UMaine System all said they expect a staff vaccination requirement to come soon, pending contract negotiations.