AUBURN, ME – Starting this fall, the Maine Community College System (MCCS), which includes Central Maine Community College, will require all students attending classes in person to be vaccinated against COVID-19, due to the recent surge in cases attributed to the delta variant.
The MCCS Board of Trustees unanimously approved the updated COVID-19 safety protocol on Thursday.
“The safety of our faculty, staff and students has been our top priority throughout the pandemic. The latest information about the delta variant makes it clear we must require vaccinations to keep our community as safe as possible,” MCCS President David Daigler said.
The new protocol, which will be in effect for the 2021-22 academic year, applies to any student taking classes or training at any MCCS facility, including off-campus learning facilities.
Students must show proof that they have received at least one dose of a vaccine prior to the first day of their in-person classes. Students who have only had their first shot when classes begin must provide proof of the second shot no later than 30 days after the date of the first dose. The first fall semester classes start on August 30.
System officials are beginning discussions with representatives of employee bargaining units in hopes of adopting a similar vaccination policy for staff and faculty. Currently, over ninety percent of staff at Central Maine Community College are fully vaccinated.
“We are looking forward to welcoming students to campus this fall, but we want to do so as safely as possible,” said Betsy Libby, interim president of Central Maine Community College. “Requiring students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, in combination with our current indoor mask mandate, will go a long way toward protecting the entire CM community.”
Currently, masks are required indoors at all of Maine’s community colleges. The mask mandate will remain in place, even for vaccinated students. MCCS officials will continue to assess the situation and review the masking mandate.
Students who are fully remote and will not be entering campus buildings for any purpose will not need proof of vaccination. Approximately 45 percent of courses are being delivered remotely this fall.
MCCS will grant exemptions for individuals who cannot be vaccinated for documented medical reasons.
Previously, vaccinations were only required for MCCS athletes and students living in residence halls.
The full text of the updated protocol can be found at https://www.cmcc.edu/coronavirus/vaccine-protocol/ and on the MCCS COVID information page.