Last Updated: October 28, 2020 3:30pm
What accommodations are being made this fall related to preventative safety?
Individuals who may need to seek accommodations for our preventative safety requirements should contact either Michelle Joler-Labbe at firstname.lastname@example.org (for faculty and staff) or Lisa Desautels-Poliquin (for students) at email@example.com for more information.
What is the testing strategy this fall?
Thomas College will provide a comprehensive COVID-19 testing regimen to our entire College community for the fall term. All Faculty, Staff and Students will be tested as we return to begin the fall semester and then half of our community will be tested each week (every individual will be tested every-other week) through December. Regular testing of our students, faculty, and staff will enable us to respond quickly to any incidents identified on our campus. The actual testing will be self-administered (while observed by a trained professional), and is the less-invasive, front interior of the nose test.
Do I need to pay for COVID-19 testing?
Students, faculty, and staff will not be charged for testing.
How the testing process be administered?
Under the guidance of the Health Center, the College has hired dedicated staff to oversee the development of our testing schedule and collection site on campus. The actual testing will be self-administered (while observed by a trained professional), and is the less-invasive, front interior of the nose test.
If I test positive can my parents pick me up from campus?
At this time and according to the Maine CDC, anyone testing positive will be allowed to go home. We will follow all guidelines by the Maine CDC.
How is my privacy around testing being protected?
The transmission of testing information is via a secured system. A negative test results will be sent from the testing company via email to the student as well as the Health Center. Any result that is positive, invalid, or unable to be processed will be sent to the Health Center who will follow up directly with the student. Any positive test results will be sent automatically to Maine CDC.
What is the College’s policy around masks and social distancing?
The College will require that face masks be worn at all times in classrooms and public spaces. See paragraphs below for more information. Individuals who may need to seek accommodations for this requirement are required to contact either Michelle Joler-Labbe at firstname.lastname@example.org (for faculty and staff) or Lisa Desautels-Poliquin (for students) at email@example.com for more information.
Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear face mask in public areas and inside all buildings. Face masks will be required outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Acceptable Face Masks: The College considers a 3-ply (or 3-layered material), non-vented face mask to be in compliance with our policy. Face masks with exhalation valves or vents do not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others and Maine CDC does not recommend using these masks. Therefore, vented masks are not permitted for use on campus and considered out of compliance with our face mask policy.
Other mask types including but not limited to: Gators, bammies, bandannas, and handkerchiefs are not as effective or protective as a 3-ply (or 3-layered) face mask and are not recommended to be used on campus.
Proper Wear of a Facemask: A mask is only effective as a preventative measure when worn over both the mouth and nose. Wearing a mask below the nose is not acceptable and any individual wearing their mask in such a fashion will be considered out of compliance with our face mask policy.
General Facemask Exceptions: when alone in an individual office or space; within resident students’ own residence hall room when alone or with roommate and the door is closed; within the dining center, Jeanie’s Café, or Dog Pound face covering/mask can be removed only while seated at the table for the purpose of eating. Resident students, please refer to your housing policy for additional information.
Athletic Exception: Only during official Thomas College athletic practices and events are exempt from the 3-ply (or 3-layered material) mandate. The moment an athlete leaves the playing field, they are required to replace their athletic bammie with a 3-ply (or 3-layered) facemask that covers both the mouth and nose. Please note that any unofficial athletic activities (e.g. a pick-up game of basketball in the gym) still require a 3-ply (or 3-layered) mask worn by all participants.
Face shields may be an alternative for those individuals with medical, behavioral, or other challenges who are unable to wear masks/face coverings. Students or employees seeking an accommodation to use a face shield should contact Lisa Desautels-Poliquin, VP Student Affairs, or Michelle Joler-Labbe, Chief HR Officer, respectively to discuss individual situations.
Face Shield Exception: Face shields may be used by a faculty member when teaching class from the front of the room and maintaining a 6-foot social distance from students. The faculty member will need to wear a face mask into the class and replace with the shield when at the front of the room. Likewise, faculty should remove their shield and replace with a face mask when leaving the room. In the auditorium only, individuals (faculty/students) may use face shields when presenting from the stage and socially distancing.
Face shields worn in place of a face covering must extend below the chin and back to the ears.
Social Distancing (6-feet)
We are modifying common spaces with reduced density and occupancy limits, creating buffer zones, and adding some physical barriers to allow individuals to work and learn while still maintaining a healthy physical distance from others.
In outdoor spaces, such as the quad and trails, social distancing is encouraged. If social distancing cannot be maintained outdoors, facial coverings should always be worn. For this reason, at all times, individuals should carry a mask with them.
Maintaining good hand hygiene is crucial for personal safety. Individuals should wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When hand washing isn’t available, use hand sanitizer. Sanitizing stations have been increased around campus. Avoid touching your face with your hands.
Each member of the Thomas community is asked to self-screen daily before arriving to campus or leaving residence hall room (students). All community members will be screened as part of the College’s testing protocol. Additional screening may be required for students using Health Services and student-athletes. Campus visitors will follow the guest policy for screenings.
Students will be expected to participate in the College’s testing program related to COVID-19 in order to physically attend classes. Students who test positive for the virus or display any symptoms should seek guidance immediately from the Health Center at 207-859-1401.