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UMaine System reports low COVID rate among campuses

UMaine System officials credit students and testing as contributing factors to low cases of COVID-19

MAINE, USA — As the test results are showing, the University of Maine System has seen little impact from COVID 19, as it relates to cases.  

As of Monday, October 5th, there are 5 known cases of COVID among its 30-thousand students, faculty, and staff. 

Of those 5 cases, 3 are at the University of Maine, 1 at the University of Maine at Augusta, and 1 at the University of Maine at Farmington.

At the University of Southern Maine's three campuses, there are zero confirmed cases.

 "I have to give a lot of credit to our students they're taking this virus extremely serious," said USM President Glenn Cummings.

Cummings says USM is limiting class sizes and offering a lot of online options. The school has put up a lot of social distance signage, set up tents for students to socialize safely, and is also conducting random testing. Not only directly testing students but also its wastewater.

 "If we detect it coming from any of the dorms than we can isolate those dorms and determine what to next," said Cummings.

RELATED: Two USM students, professor 3-D print face shields for health care workers

Visiting the USM Gorham campus on Monday was UMaine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy.  

 "Everyone has worked really hard students particularly, this is hard for them," said Malloy.

Credit: NCM

Malloy says students, faculty, and staff have been vigilant about following safety guidelines and protocols like wearing masks, washing hands, and socially distancing.

"It's all part of a well-laid plan that's working so far and we're really proud of that fact."

Malloy says right now, their infection rate is low. 

Since the start of the fall semester, they have tested 18,537 people and to date, there have been 17 positive results throughout the entire UMaine system.

"That was one of our goals, inviting people to come to Maine to get their education without being introduced to the virus and so far we've proven that to be the case," said Malloy.

Credit: NCM

The impact of the virus spreading throughout the UMaine system has been low but the financial impact has been huge.

The UMaine system estimates pandemic related expenses and lost revenue to be greater than 50 million dollars.