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Hundreds of COVID-19 Tests Administered as Research, Athletics Enter Phase 1 of Reopening

By Maryland Today Staff

The University of Maryland tested 251 employees and students for COVID-19 yesterday and Monday in a first-of-its-kind effort on campus.

The testing in front of Tyser Tower at Maryland Stadium coincided with the lifting of the most stringent research restrictions on campus and the return of some student-athletes and athletics staff for health testing and preparation for a gradual resumption of training activities.

A “limited presence” of researchers was allowed in campus labs this week, subject to deans’ approval of safety plans, Vice President for Research Laurie E. Locascio said in an email last week. Meanwhile, voluntary, individual workouts for football players—held outdoors in socially distanced setting—are scheduled to resume Monday.

The following groups received tests:

  • Certain housekeeping, maintenance, University of Maryland Police Department personnel and other essential workers on campus during the university’s mostly online operations;
  • Faculty and staff researchers and graduate research assistants approved to work on campus during severe research restrictions to combat COVID-19;
  • Student-athletes and selected sports medicine staff.

Testing was supervised by University Health Center physicians: Interim Director Dr. Sacared Bodison, Dr. Joy Howard and Dr. Yvette Rooks, director of sports medicine and lead team physician. Off-campus collaborators included the Maryland Department of Health, Prince George’s County Health Department and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

This initial limited testing program will be used to inform decisions about subsequent testing.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.