Mask Requirement Lifting in Most Places for Fully Vaccinated People
Campus Facilities Opening to Full Capacity; Physical Distancing Restrictions to End
Dr. Spyridon S. Marinopoulos, University Health Center director, sent the following email to the campus community this afternoon:
Since my last email to you dated May 6, our COVID-19 case numbers have continued to decline dramatically. Over the last three weeks, the number of positive cases from our on-campus testing has essentially been zero. At the same time, our campus vaccination rate has increased and, as of today, at least 73% of members of our current campus community have self-reported being fully vaccinated.
Federal, state and county public health guidance
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear masks indoors or outdoors except in healthcare settings and where required by laws, rules and regulations, including business and workplace guidance. This recommendation is based on newly published evidence showing that fully vaccinated individuals are unlikely to either get infected with COVID-19 or spread the infection to others.
Gov. Larry Hogan lifted the statewide mask mandate on May 15, except while on public transportation or school buses, and while obtaining health care services and inside schools. On May 17, Prince George's County lifted capacity and distancing restrictions for all indoor and outdoor venues, and on May 28, the county will align with the state in lifting the face mask mandate. Face masks are still required in the county for everyone while on public transportation, inside health care facilities and inside schools.
Lifting university restrictions to align with public health guidance
Effective Friday, May 28 at 5 p.m., the University of Maryland will align with these federal, state and county guidelines, with the following modifications:
- If you are fully vaccinated, you will no longer be required to wear a face mask except while on public transportation (including Shuttle-UM and school buses), while participating in activities involving K-12 students (such as in summer camps, day care, etc.) and while obtaining health care services; however, you may choose to wear a mask if you wish to, and we ask that you respect everyone who chooses to do so.
- If you are not fully vaccinated, you will be required to wear a face mask in all public indoor spaces, at all crowded outdoor venues, while on public transportation or school buses, while participating in any activities involving K-12 students (such as in summer camps, day care, etc.) and while obtaining health care services; however, you are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at all times for your own protection.
- Campus facilities, including classrooms, office spaces, residence halls and dining halls, will return to full capacity, except as it pertains to current CDC recommendations for campus health care facilities.
- Physical distancing restrictions will be lifted throughout campus, except as it pertains to current CDC recommendations for campus health care facilities. In all cases, we ask that you respect the personal space of your fellow campus colleagues.
Important vaccination reminders
It is essential for us to be mindful that, while we have made great strides, the pandemic is not over. As restrictions in and surrounding our community relax, those who are not vaccinated will be more likely to become infected. Getting vaccinated is the most important way to prevent any future resurgence of the virus.
We urge everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so. Marylanders can get vaccinated by walking in or scheduling an appointment at any of the state's 13 mass vaccination sites, or at one of more of than 700 pharmacies, local hospitals and health departments, by visiting covidvax.maryland.gov or by calling 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).
Please be reminded that you are required by the University System of Maryland to have your vaccinations complete no later than Aug. 2 in order to return to campus in person this fall.
There are two ways to verify your vaccination status:
- After completing your daily symptom monitoring survey, you will be prompted to authorize the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Patients (CRISP) to release your vaccination information to the UHC. This will allow the UHC to automatically verify compliance with the USM vaccination requirement.
- If you decide not to authorize CRISP, you have to verify your vaccination status manually by uploading proof of vaccination to the UHC portal directly.
We are hopeful for continued encouraging testing and vaccination results over the summer months, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to a full campus reopening in the fall.
Spyridon S. Marinopoulos, MD, MBA, FACP
Director, University Health Center
Chief Medical Officer, University of Maryland