COVID-19 case at UMPI turns out to be false positive

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The University of Maine System announced yesterday that a previously declared positive COVID-19 case at their Presque Isle campus has been determined to be a false positive.

On Nov. 6, UMPI announced that an employee had tested positive and entered quarantine, with the Maine CDC conducting contact tracing to determine if others had been exposed to the coronavirus. After subsequent testing, the employee was determined to not have the virus after all and has since returned to work.

UMPI transitioned to remote learning on Nov. 6 after hearing the initial results of the COVID-19 test but returned to in-person classes on Nov. 9, citing a low risk to the campus population. The campus now has only a few days of in-person classes before students return home and finish the semester remotely.

Rice said that although having the employee and their contacts quarantine was not an ideal situation, the university took the necessary steps to ensure the safety of other individuals on campus. 

“We are grateful that this officially confirmed false-positive result allowed individuals to return to their normal routines and participate more fully in these final in-person days on campus,” Rice said. “This also means that UMPI officially has had no positive cases of COVID-19 to date, which will be reflected in the University of Maine System’s next Together For Maine daily update.”

At the conclusion of his statement, Rice credited UMPI’s emergency response team and other campus departments for isolating the initial positive case quickly and working with state health officials to ensure people’s safety on campus. He also said that the careful actions of students, faculty and staff members have helped the campus avoid an outbreak of COVID-19.

“All of your efforts, from hand-washing to mask-wearing to social distancing, are so appreciated and prepare us for a great start of the spring semester in January,” Rice said.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.