Case Data Now Updated Daily on University Dashboard
Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle
University Health Center Director Dr. Spyridon S. Marinopoulos sent the following message to the campus community this afternoon:
As we close out the third full week of the fall semester and our campus community and broader society have returned to living, working and studying together in an in-person environment, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update on our COVID-19 mitigation measures and to introduce a few new actions designed to help prevent the spread of the virus on our campus.
Thanks to our extremely high vaccination rate—nearly 98% of our on-campus community is fully vaccinated—coupled with our masking requirements, we are well-protected against serious illness from the COVID-19 virus, including the Delta variant.
It is our expectation that this virus will continue to be present in our communities and on our campus for the foreseeable future. Our collective goal is to find ways to continue to live, teach, learn and work in our in-person environment. With that in mind, we are introducing several new health measures:
Expanded Testing for Individuals Without Symptoms
Beginning next week, we have added two more days of COVID-19 testing at Maryland Stadium for asymptomatic individuals who wish to be tested. We will now offer testing on Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Individuals With Symptoms
We have modified our University Health Center testing tent hours for those with symptoms.
You always have the option to test off campus and submit your results to return.umd.edu if you choose to do so. More testing information can be found on the 4 Maryland website, including a listing of off-campus testing locations.
We continue to offer free on-campus vaccinations to all members of our campus community. For your own health and for the well-being of your friends, loved ones and colleagues, we urge you to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Schedule your appointment today.
In addition to vaccinations, wearing a mask is our most effective defense against COVID-19. All members of our campus community are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
The CDC recently updated its recommendations around mask use by the general public. Evidence shows that certain masks are more effective than others in their protective effect, allowing for up to several hours of protection compared to others when worn properly. As a result, the university has purchased 50,000 KN95 masks and will make them available free of charge to all members of our campus community. These masks are extremely effective as they can filter 95% of the virus particles in the air. A KN95 mask provides better protection for you and reduces the spread of the virus from someone wearing one. You are also less likely to develop COVID-19 after close contact with someone who tested positive when wearing a KN95 mask.
If you are unvaccinated, you are expected to wear a KN95 mask. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should also wear a KN95 mask when around large groups, including in classroom settings and in residence halls.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 20, complimentary KN95 masks will be distributed throughout campus, including in residence halls, Stamp Student Union and other locations. Information on distribution locations will be posted to the 4 Maryland website.
As a reminder, as we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, when the university identifies an emerging cluster of cases within a residence hall, we provide specific public health guidance, including but not limited to the requirement for targeted COVID-19 testing for populations that could be directly affected. This is based on CDC guidance and depends on an individual's vaccination status. All affected residents will be contacted directly by the UHC and the Department of Resident Life.
UMD COVID Dashboard
All COVID-19 case data is publicly available on the university's dashboard. Effective today, this data is updated daily, including self-reported cases.
The health of every member of our campus community remains our singular focus. A dedicated team of university administrators, university staff and health officials monitor COVID-related data on a daily -- even hourly -- basis, and we will continue to update our campus community regularly on any new developments.
Be well and stay safe,
Spyridon S. Marinopoulos, MD, MBA, FACP
Director, University Health Center
Chief Medical Officer, University of Maryland
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