In an effort to protect the campus from the coronavirus, University of Maine officials are suggesting that students avoid travel, including during spring break.

March 16 to 22 is spring break at the University of Maine campuses. It's a time when many students and even staff members will travel to warmer climates for parties and public gatherings. But, in the current health crisis, Chancellor Dannel Malloy is encouraging students to stay in Maine to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. The University system is offering free room and board in the residency and dining halls on campus to anyone who was planning to travel next week.

"We want to encourage students, faculty, and staff to stay here in Maine to limit their potential exposure to coronavirus," Malloy said in a media release, "and to do our part to help halt the spread of this terrible disease."

The directive, which was developed in partnership between Malloy, the University Presidents, and the Dean of the Maine Law School, is also prohibiting all university-sponsored non-essential air travel until further notice. In addition, they're encouraging students, faculty, and staff members to avoid personal travel to any domestic or international areas with known COVID-19 cases.

A plan is in place to transition all academic programs to distance and online modalities, in the event that the spread of the illness forces a disruption of campus operations. More information can be found on the University's COVID-19 Public Health Advisory page. 

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