ORONO, Maine (AP) — Maine’s public university system is prohibiting university-sponsored, non-essential air travel and encouraging students to stay on campus in response to the growing outbreak of COVID-19.
The University of Maine System announced on Tuesday that it’s also strongly encouraging students, faculty members and staff to avoid personal travel to areas with known cases of COVID-19.
The system is asking students to remain on campus over spring break, and it will open residence and dining halls without additional room and board charges, the system said in a statement. Spring break is scheduled for March 16 to 22.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. There have been no confirmed cases in Maine.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered
System Chancellor Dannel Malloy said the goal of the measures is to help “students, faculty, and staff to stay HERE in Maine to limit their potential exposure to coronavirus and to do our part to help halt the spread of this terrible disease.” He said the system does not currently have plans to close campuses.
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