On Thursday, COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen addressed Governor Janet Mills’ decision to loosen the state’s mask mandate in an email to the College community. Despite new state guidelines that people do not need to wear masks outdoors when they are practicing social distancing, Ranen asked in his email that members of the community continue wearing masks on campus.
According to Ranen, the only exception to this rule will occur during classes that take place in the outdoor tents set up across campus. As these tents are designed to provide adequate physical distancing, masking will not be required.
After the CDC released new guidelines on Tuesday regarding masking for fully vaccinated people, questions arose around campus about what this might mean for the College’s policies. Among other suggestions, the guidelines outline that fully vaccinated people may forgo masking outdoors when a social distance can be maintained or when people are with other fully vaccinated individuals.
The College’s vaccination plan for students is well underway, with the first round of students having received their second doses on Wednesday and Thursday. However, Ranen emphasized that much of the community is far from being fully vaccinated and that masking outdoors will still be required.
“The end of the academic year is near, yet the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak is real,” Ranen wrote.
The College will continue to monitor COVID-19 recommendations and the situation on campus, in Maine and throughout the country, especially regarding rules for the summer. But for now, masks will stay on almost all of the time on campus.