Health FAQ: Information about COVID-19

Do I need to be vaccinated to attend a Maine community college?

No, as of February 2023 students do not need to be vaccinated against COVID-19, although they are strongly encouraged to get COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots as appropriate. The only exception is for students in certain programs who must be vaccinated due to requirements at third-party student placement sites such as hospitals or clinics.

Since Maine DHHS removed the requirement for proof of COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers in September 2023, will Maine’s community colleges stop requiring students in certain programs to show proof of vaccination?

No, because the change by Maine DHHS does not affect the protocol at Maine’s community colleges, which reflect COVID-19 vaccination requirements at third-party locations, such as student placement sites. Maine’s community colleges have contracts with those sites that spell out their vaccination requirements for student placements, and the colleges are legally obliged to meet those requirements. The colleges will continue to be guided by the clinical sites’ requirements. The colleges remain in regular contact with the third-party site administrators and any change to their vaccination requirements would be promptly reflected in an amendment or update to our contract. It is not uncommon for health care facilities to require students placed at their sites to have certain vaccinations, even if the vaccine is not required by the state (such as a flu vaccine.)

Where can I get reliable information and updates about COVID-19?

Good sources include the Maine Center for Disease Control and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Additional information is available at Maine CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions or you can contact 211 Maine. You can reach 211 Maine by either dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing

What precautions can I take to protect myself from COVID-19?

The best way to prevent infection is to get vaccinated and wear masks as appropriate or required. In addition, people should follow public health recommendations and follow general respiratory prevention measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When in public, wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth.
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and when do they appear?
What should I do if I become sick with COVID-19 or suspect I am infected with the virus that causes it?

The Centers for Disease Control provides the following advice.

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor: If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office staff protect themselves and other patients.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when you are around other people.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, cups, eating utensils, towels, and bedding. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces daily.
  • Monitor your symptoms: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.
What if someone in my home is diagnosed with COVID-19?

If someone in your home has been diagnosed with COVID-19, immediately check with a medical professional for guidance. Contact your instructor or supervisor if the medical advice you receive will require you to miss class or work.


CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019

Maine CDC COVID-19