UMaine System Rolls Out Expanded COVID-19 Testing Program
The University of Maine System has announced a new plan to test 2,000 people — about 10 percent of its on-campus students and staff — every 10 days in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the fall semester.
The continued testing comes on top of more than 12,000 tests that the system is planning to perform as students begin returning to several campuses this week. All out-of-state students, those in residence halls and select others are being tested.
System Chancellor Dannel Malloy says the total testing effort, estimated to cost $6 million, should allow the system to stay on top of the virus.
“We want to have information about each one of our campuses, and how they are functioning, in light of the COVID environment that we’re in,” he says.
Malloy says wastewater will also be tested on some campuses to monitor the virus.
“We’ll take that information, and we’ll analyze it. Do we need to pause? Do we need to do something that would help us combat a situation that might appear?” he says.
Smaller private schools including Bates and Colby colleges have adopted more rigorous testing plans, opting to test students and staff multiple times per week.
The system has reported that four students have tested positive for COVID-19 as they’ve started returning to campus for the fall semester. The latest case today involves a Maine Law student, who is now isolating. More than 1,300 students have been tested so far.