UMD Discourages International Travel in Coming Weeks Amid Rise of Omicron Variant
Photo by John T. Consoli
University Health Center Director Dr. Spyridon S. Marinopoulos sent the following email to the campus community yesterday:
I am writing with a post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 update.
As expected, we are seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases following our return to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday. Although we continue to monitor the situation closely, the increase can likely be attributed to travel to different locations during the holiday, as well as more indoor gatherings with family and friends. This is consistent with an increase in cases with Thanksgiving travel across the U.S.
Last weekend, a new COVID-19 variant, named "Omicron," was identified by South African scientists and has since been reported in multiple countries, including two cases in the U.S., in California and Minnesota. The available data about Omicron is extremely limited at this time. Scientists are studying Omicron very closely and are expected to provide more information as it becomes available.
Here are some things we know based on the information we have available to us at this time:
For now, the measures we know are effective against COVID-19 are the measures we must continue to rely on.
Depending on what we learn about Omicron in the coming days, we may need to take additional measures and will keep you informed if we do.
We are grateful to all of our students, faculty and staff for helping us keep our community safe. Thanks to everyone's collective efforts, we feel privileged that we have been able to provide a robust in-person campus experience for our students this fall. We appreciate your continued vigilance as we enter the final stretch of the semester.
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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