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Health

UMaine System Will Require Masks In University Buildings Through September

university of maine school of law
University of Maine System
University of Maine School of Law

Students, staff and visitors to any University of Maine system campus will be required to wear masks inside buildings this fall.

Chancellor Dannel Malloy announced the change on Wednesday, saying that the spread of the delta variant requires additional precautions, particularly with many classrooms no longer set up to allow for social distancing.

Masks will be recommended -- but not required -- in large group outdoor settings. They also won't be mandated when a student is alone or with their roommate in a dorm room, or while eating or drinking in a dining hall or café. Malloy says the precautions will allow students to still be together during the semester while protecting the health of the community.

The University of Maine System is already requiring vaccinations for all students on its campuses. The system says it plans to mandate the indoor face covering requirement through at least September 30.

Earlier this week, Bates College in Lewiston announced that it would also require indoor face coverings, on top of vaccinations for students and staff.

Corrected: August 23, 2021 at 9:07 AM EDT
A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that the University of Maine System had required staff on its campuses to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. It is negotiating with staff about this proposal.