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Campus & Community

UMD Encourages Masking at Crowded Outdoor Events

COVID Testing to Be Available Mondays, Thursdays Without Appointments

By Maryland Today Staff

students wear masks indoors

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

New guidance from University Health Center Director Dr. Spyridon S. Marinopoulos includes requiring all campus guests and visitors to wear a mask or face covering indoors.

University Health Center Director Dr. Spyridon S. Marinopoulos sent the following email to the campus community today:

The start of the Fall 2021 semester is now less than two weeks away. As our campus prepares for a full slate of in-person classes and events, we wanted to reiterate the critical importance of maintaining our collective vigilance against the spread of COVID-19.

Our masking policy—announced Aug. 6—requires everyone to wear a mask in public indoor spaces and on Shuttle-UM buses, regardless of vaccination status. For unvaccinated individuals, masks are also required while outdoors in crowded spaces. Additionally, every member of our campus community—faculty, staff and students—is expected to comply with the University System of Maryland vaccine mandate. Followed effectively, these two protocols can help ensure a vibrant and engaging fall semester.

From the very beginning of this pandemic, our university has followed national, state and county health guidance, and we will continue to do so. We understand that changing guidance can be confusing, but as this virus continues to evolve, including the Delta variant, so too must our protocols.

Our goal remains the same: to provide a healthy and safe environment for every member of our campus community to learn, work, live and teach.

Additional Masking Guidance

  • We encourage everyone to wear masks at all crowded outdoor events, regardless of vaccination status. At outdoor athletic events, all fans will be required to wear masks in all indoor spaces, including suites and restrooms. Complete information about COVID protocols at athletic events can be found here.
  • All guests and visitors to campus, including affiliates, must wear a mask or face covering in all indoor spaces.
  • Instructors and presenters who are fully vaccinated may choose to remove their mask while teaching or speaking to a group, provided they can maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet from all other persons at all times and everyone in the audience is masked.

COVID-19 Testing
Beginning Monday, Aug. 23, COVID-19 testing will be held at Maryland Stadium from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. No online appointments will be required. As a reminder, if you are unvaccinated, regardless of exemption status, you are required to comply with regular, twice-a-week COVID-19 testing.

In partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, we will now be processing all on-campus COVID-19 tests through the Maryland Genomics SampleScanner mobile app.

All students, faculty, staff and affiliates will receive a personalized, welcome email from MG Scanner Mobile that will allow you to download the app and complete your one-time patient registration on your device. This is a personalized email that is only valid for your registration; please do not share or forward. If you do not have a mobile device, you will register at the testing site.

Results of on-campus tests will be submitted automatically to the University Health Center. Off-campus test results must be reported at return.umd.edu.

Individuals with a Weakened or Compromised Immune System
Individuals with a weakened or compromised immune system are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, including an increased risk of hospitalization and death. Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be "immunocompromised" or have a weakened immune system.

Even when you have been fully vaccinated, if you have a weakened immune system, you may need to continue to take precautions to maximally protect yourself. You are strongly encouraged to:

  • Wear a mask at all times when in public spaces, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distancing at all times.
  • Contact your health care provider for recommendations regarding specific precautions that may apply in your situation. UMD may offer appropriate adjustments and/or accommodations based on a letter from your healthcare provider.
  • Contact your health care provider immediately for advice and further treatment, should you begin to feel unwell.
  • Discuss with your health care provider whether you would benefit from an additional vaccine dose.

If you are unvaccinated and have a weakened or compromised immune system, you are at the highest risk for contracting and becoming severely ill from the virus. In addition to the above precautions, you are strongly advised against returning to campus until you have been fully vaccinated and/or have a statement from your physician listing the accommodations and adjustments required in your situation.

Request for COVID Accommodations
In preparation for the resumption of in-person instruction and operations this fall, we share this information about accommodations and requests for consideration. The presence of faculty, staff, and students—and their interactions on campus—contribute significantly to our vibrant learning community. We are committed to working with students and employees who, due to a medical condition, are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. We will work to provide the necessary resources that prioritize safety and well-being.

Fortunately, thanks to all of your diligent efforts, our campus has a highly vaccinated population. As of this writing, our community is 92% fully vaccinated and we expect that number to increase before the first day of classes. This is critical, because being vaccinated remains the most important thing you can do to help keep yourself and others free of the virus.

Our high vaccination rate, extremely low number of COVID-19 cases on our campus and your continued adherence to our masking and vaccine protocols will help us all enjoy an in-person experience this semester.

For additional information, please visit the COVID-19 Information website or email healthconcerns@umd.edu. If you need help with the vaccine requirement and/or compliance, please complete the COVID-19 Compliance Support Request form.

Be well and stay safe,

Spyridon S. Marinopoulos signature

 

 

Spyridon S. Marinopoulos, MD, MBA, FACP
Director, University Health Center
Chief Medical Officer, University of Maryland

Schools & Departments:

University Health Center

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