This summer, the Pandemic Response Team continues to follow the guidance of the Maine CDC, as we have since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue this practice as we head into the new academic year.

Over the past few days, in response to the rising cases of the Delta variant of COVID, the Maine CDC has designated Cumberland County at risk of "substantial community spread" of the virus, and now recommends everyone - unvaccinated and vaccinated people - wear masks at all times in indoor public spaces. As you may know, the rise of the Delta variant has brought with it more breakthrough cases - vaccinated people testing positive for the virus.

In light of our elevated county status, SJC will now require that masks be worn in all indoor spaces on campus, with the following exceptions:

- in offices occupied by one individual with the door closed
- when eating in the dining hall, and
- in residence hall rooms occupied by the room residents (masks must be worn by all occupants when visitors are present).

Additionally, visitors to campus must be either vaccinated or masked at all times, and always masked indoors.

We hope that this will be a temporary measure. The PRT will monitor our County status daily, and rescind this requirement if and when the current risk subsides.

Finally, some very good news: you have responded to the College's vaccine mandate as one united community, and we are now 96% vaccinated. This is an extremely encouraging milestone, and one that will keep our College much safer as we kick off a new school year. Thank you for your commitment to keeping all of us healthy! (If you are one of the few that still need to verify your vaccination status, please contact the Health and Wellness Center immediately.)