Thomas College is committed to providing a safe campus environment for all faculty staff and students. Thomas invites and expects all members of the campus community to assist in exercising and respecting the range of risk mitigation strategies that are designed to promote a healthy campus, recognizing that individual actions help contribute to the community’s overall experience. The College intends to follow local, state and federal guidelines, to provide support to the members of the community, to remain flexible to respond to changing circumstances, and to communicate with the campus on an ongoing basis.
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 email@example.com (for faculty and staff) or Lisa Desautels-Poliquin (for students) at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear face mask in public areas, inside all buildings, and outdoors.
Acceptable Face Masks: The College considers a 3-ply (or 3-layered material), non-vented facemask 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 protectiveas 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 athletes 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. Outdoors, facial coverings should always be worn. For this reason, at all times, individuals should carry a mask with them.
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.
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 Spring semester and regularly throughout the semester. 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.
Students, faculty, and staff will not be charged for testing.
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.
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.
The transmission of testing information is via a secured system. 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.
Close Contact/Exposed: Generally defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time frame
Quarantine: When you separate people from others because they may have been exposed or in close contact to the COVID-19 virus but are not currently symptomatic
Isolation: When you separate people who are infected with the virus (with or without symptoms) from people who are not infected
Will Thomas College require students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated when the 2021–2022 academic year begins in the fall?
Thomas College encourages all our students, faculty, and staff to obtain their free COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. Our goal is for all members of the Thomas College community to arrive to campus for the fall semester fully vaccinated (except those that qualify for legal, health, or religious exemptions).
Who is eligible to be vaccinated in the state of Maine?
The state of Maine has broadened the eligibility requirements for obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine. As of April 2021, all Maine people age sixteen (16) and older are eligible to obtain a vaccine beginning Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
All eligible individuals should schedule their vaccination appointment as soon as they qualify and are able.
Please visit Maine’s COVID-19 response website to pre-register for a vaccination appointment or call the state’s Community Vaccination Line (1-888-445-4111 – M-F, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or Sat-Sun 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) for information about vaccination clinics in Maine.
For the most up to date information about vaccinations, please refer to the “COVID-19 Vaccination in Maine” website.
Why should I get vaccinated?
It is critically important that as many community members obtain their vaccination as possible to slow the spread of the virus. When you obtain your vaccine, you are not only protecting yourself, but you are making a significant contribution to the health and safety of our Thomas College community, our larger central Maine community.
Is Thomas College going to be giving COVID-19 vaccinations on campus?
No, the Maine CDC feels there are enough local locations for students, faculty, and staff to obtain a vaccine (see above).
I am an out-of-state student at Thomas College, can I sign up for a vaccination appointment in Maine?
Yes, as a student in Maine, you can obtain your vaccination in Maine.
How do I schedule an appointment for a vaccination?
Below are some resources to schedule your vaccine appointment:
Please note the following when scheduling your vaccine appointment:
Students: You will want to consider your travel plans for the end of the semester when scheduling your first and second shots. Remember: You will need to obtain your second shot at the same location as the first. If you cannot schedule your appointment in Maine, please seek out opportunities in your home communities.
Please review this page each time you plan to host a guest on campus as policies are subject to change.
Guests will be permitted on campus and must be hosted by an individual or department.
A guest is defined as an individual who is not a current employee or student of the college. Guests include friends and family of current students, faculty or staff, prospective students and their families, alumni, and other individuals coming to campus for official campus business or meetings.
For the purpose of this policy:
For those who are hosting a guest, it is your responsibility to inform your guest of the College’s guidelines. When your guest arrives on campus, please review screening questions, and remind them of the following:
Guidelines for hosting a guest on campus (minimum requirements)
Guests must be registered in the guest log.
NOTE: registering your guest confirms that they understand and have met screening requirements
Will friends be allowed in my residence room?
Residents who live on campus will have opportunities to visit with each other with new room occupancy limits and guidelines. Unfortunately, for the safety of our residential community, non-residential students/guests won’t be permitted in campus housing.
Is the campus open to the general public?
The campus remains closed to the general public until further notice. This includes the turf fields and walking trails. For example, campus tours for prospective students which will be announced via email the day of the tour.
What is our policy with vendors coming on campus?
Vendor relationship owners are obligated to contact all of our outside vendors who we anticipate coming to campus through the Fall semester and ask them for copies of their screening protocols that we then keep on file. These vendors would include FedEx, UPS, Fred’s Vending (water), all Physical Plant vendors, etc.
Ask all vendors to complete our screening questions BEFORE arriving to campus. If they answer “yes” to any of the questions they should not come.
All vendors (except daily deliveries) must be signed in using the process below.
The Thomas College employee hosting/overseeing a vendor must contact the Safety and Security Office when the vendor arrives to campus and provide the following information:
All vendors must wear protective face coverings when inside campus buildings and outside.
Please download Thomas College travel guidelines are available for all community members who are traveling or hosting individuals from states that are not currently exempt. As of March 5, 2021, the only states that are exempt from travel are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island or Massachusetts.
Can I do anything to protect myself?
This information comes from the CDC website:
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
Should I use a face mask?
In response to the Governor’s most recent announcement requiring the use of face masks in public, effective May 4, 2020 we are requiring employees to wear masks when coming to campus. The expectation is that you would bring your own masks. If for some reason you are unable to procure a mask and need to come to campus please contact:
If you have your own office space you do not need to wear the mask if you are alone. However, you should have it with you when using common spaces or walking in the hallway should you come in contact with another person. Additionally, if you share an office space or suite with others and cannot social distance you need to be wearing your mask at all times. The masks should to be 3 ply or multi layered cloth masks to be effective. The requirement will be in place until further notice.
What if I exhibit symptoms of this virus?
If you are a resident student and you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please call Health Services at: 207-859-1401.
All others in the Thomas College community who suspect they may be symptomatic are asked to call their primary care physician and should not come to campus.
Who can get tested for COVID-19?
Based on advice from the CDC, current healthcare practice is that healthcare providers will determine, based on each patient’s symptoms, if a test is warranted.
What are other helpful resources?
If you are seeking more information, we recommend referring to sources considered credible and informed. This includes the following websites: