8/21/2020 | Message from the President
Dear MMA Students,
As the semester is about to begin, here are a few important reminders and links for more information that will be useful as you arrive on campus.
First, please become familiar with the 12 Ways to 12 Weeks so that you can do your part to make this a safe and successful semester.
The campus is bustling with activity, and we are beginning to settle newcomers in to Curtis Hall and the TSSOM. Regimental Preparatory Training has begun. New independent students will begin arriving on August 26. All students are checking in and reporting for entry testing—both residential and commuter students. If you are coming to campus next week, please be sure to be on time for your check-in appointment.
There are a number of changes to MMA Dining. Soon, the Bite App will be available for daily menus and online ordering.
Students are wearing color-coded wristbands through September 2 to comply with the state travel quarantine requirements. Here is a color key, so that you are aware:
- Yellow=Quarantine Status: in quarantine until test results are received; picking up take-out food from the Waypoint and eating in Curtis Hall rooms or outside
- Blue or Green=Clear: out of quarantine status and cleared to move about freely on campus, in classrooms, gathering together (socially distanced) and also allowed to eat in the mess deck
Students are required to complete a health check each day before leaving your room or home to move about campus and participate in activities. Your daily health self-assessment can be completed either on MyMMA or the Maine Maritime Academy Mobile app by clicking the thermometer icon (referenced below).
Students will need to have their own thermometer to complete the regular health screenings. Completion of the daily health check will be required for entrance to certain facilities such as the health center and athletic center. Temperatures also may be taken as a screening tool at the entrance to certain buildings and activities.
If, upon completion of your health self-assessment, you are cleared, you will have a message you can show upon request for entry to classes and certain areas such as the Athletic Center and the Health Center. If not cleared, you will be instructed to contact Health Services or your primary care provider.
As of today, Friday, August 21, one member of the MMA community has tested positive for COVID-19 during our entry-testing program. This was not unexpected, and we are likely to have more as we welcome everyone back to campus from locations around the state and country; this was the rationale for entry testing.
During this public health crisis, we must balance the privacy of health information with the need to provide timely information to close contacts to help contain the spread of this virus. We are following guidance from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working with them to identify and notify those who might have come in close contact with the patient during the time when they might have been contagious. However, it appears, based on the very limited contact the individual had on campus, that no one on campus would be considered a close contact.
The individual is not on campus and is isolating, as directed by the Maine CDC. They were asymptomatic at the time of testing. While I know this news is concerning, the CDC has clear guidelines which we are following regarding tracing and notifying contacts. If you do know who the individual is, I request that you respect their privacy and refrain from sharing that information.
As we continue to have cases in Maine, students, faculty, and staff should continue to be alert for symptoms as described by the CDC. Following direction from the Maine CDC, the Academy will notify individuals known to be in close contact with a member of the MMA community who tests positive for COVID-19. These notifications will be sent as soon as possible via email and will include specific CDC guidance on what next steps to take. This guidance will depend upon the nature and extent of the contact. We will be posting dashboard information on the Fall 2020 website regarding test results as data becomes available.
Employees who exhibit symptoms of the virus should contact their primary care provider for guidance and notify Human Resources. Students who exhibit symptoms of the virus should contact Health Services or their primary care provider and follow CDC guidance for reducing spread of the virus. Reasonable accommodations will be made for remote learning for students who are in isolation or quarantine.
We will be conducting “surveillance” COVID-19 testing throughout the fall semester. If you are selected for this testing, you will be instructed via email to report to Health Services for another brief PCR test. This is designed to help us prevent an outbreak due to community members’ interactions with others who might have contracted the virus.
The Student Honor Code of Conduct and Responsibilities (the Code) has been amended to include the safety requirements MMA has implemented because of COVID-19. In addition, the Code and our policies regarding Sexual Harassment and Title IX have been updated as a result of new regulations from the Federal Office of Civil Rights. Please review these updated policies on the portal.
You will be hearing about Convocation soon. New students will attend the virtual event in groups according to majors, followed by meetings with academic advisors. All continuing students can watch Convocation on Zoom and you will get an invitation shortly!
Life on campus may be different than you expect. Please ask your questions of staff, faculty, coaches, and RAs. We want you to know how to find the resources you need!
I am wishing you all the best as we begin the semester. Please stay safe, and be well.
Dr. William J. Brennan
Maine Maritime Academy