New Precautions Include Switching to Grab-and-Go Dining, Requiring KN95 Masks at Finals
Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle
University President Darryll J. Pines sent the following email to the campus community tonight:
As our chief medical officer, Dr. Spyridon Marinopoulos, reported yesterday, our campus community—like many communities across the country— is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Earlier today, our COVID-19 dashboard was updated to show 98 positive cases from university testing plus an additional 12 self-reported cases (these results are from tests taken since Monday), and we expect to see another high number of cases from today’s testing. These are the highest case counts we’ve seen this fall semester. Given these numbers and the potential further spread of the virus, we are taking the following actions, effective immediately:
Final examinations will continue as scheduled, but all students and faculty must wear KN95 masks for all in-person finals. You may obtain a KN95 mask from the Stamp Student Union Information Desk. The data we track show that the risk of transmission in classroom settings is extremely low, which will allow our students to complete the academic semester without further disruption or postponement. However, anyone who is experiencing symptoms should not attend any in-person examinations and should work with their instructor to make alternative arrangements.
I am acutely aware of the impact this virus continues to have on every member of our campus community. Some members of our community are dealing with the virus themselves, or with loved ones who may be sick. We are all grappling with the strain and anxiety of this surge. None of this is easy.
Our decisions will continue to be informed by diligent tracking of cases, positivity rates and other trends, and guided by health professionals, including Dr. Marinopoulos. Let us all look forward to the start of a new year—and a fresh beginning.
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
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