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What You Need to Know in Fall 2021: COVID-19 Guidelines

Important Reminders About Protocols to Help Keep Campus Safe, Healthy

By Maryland Today Staff

Masked students in library

Masking is a must at the library and in most other indoor spaces where more than one person is present—just one of the ways the University of Maryland is working to keep Terps safe from COVID-19 as campus resumes normal operations this fall.

Photo by John T. Consoli

After most Terps spent more than a year in a largely virtual environment, UMD is prioritizing keeping them safe as they get reacquainted with campus, navigate a sea of syllabi and adjust to their new schedules.

Here’s what you need to know about the latest COVID-19 guidance to stay healthy as the Fall 2021 semester begins:

Masks

Everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask while:

  • Indoors
  • On public transportation, including Shuttle-UM buses
  • Interacting with K-12 students
  • Receiving health care, including on-campus COVID-19 testing

Unvaccinated individuals must also wear masks in crowded outdoor spaces, and they are encouraged to wear them at all times for their own protection.

UMD suggests that everyone, vaccinated or not, wear masks during crowded outdoor gatherings, such as athletic events. Fans attending outdoor UMD games will be required to mask up in all indoor spaces, like suites and restrooms.

Masks may be removed indoors under the following circumstances:

  • While alone in a room, office or lab.
  • In residence hall rooms, suites or apartments, with only roommates present
  • Momentarily while eating or drinking
  • While instructing or presenting, if those teaching or speaking are fully vaccinated and can stay six feet from others, and everyone in the audience is masked

Vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all students, faculty and staff returning to campus this semester, as announced by the University System of Maryland, unless they have an approved religious or medical exemption.

The University Health Center is offering clinics for Terps to receive their first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 1, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 3, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 8, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 10, 9 a.m.-noon

To schedule a vaccine appointment, visit myuhc.umd.edu. To confirm your vaccination status, visit return.umd.edu.

Testing

Unvaccinated students, faculty and staff must take a PCR-based COVID-19 test twice a week, regardless of exemption status. Those who are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms don’t need to be tested regularly.

On-campus testing events will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays at Maryland Stadium, with no online appointments needed. In partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, UMD is now processing all on-campus COVID tests through the Maryland Genomics SampleScanner mobile app. Check for your personalized welcome email to download the app.

Special Health Conditions

Those with weakened or compromised immune systems, who are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, may need to take additional precautions to maximally protect themselves.

The university encourages these individuals to:

  • Wear a mask in all public spaces
  • Maintain six feet of physical distancing from others
  • Contact their health care provider if they begin to feel unwell, for recommendations specific to their situation or for advice regarding an additional vaccine dose

Compliance

Terps who fail to comply with these health and safety policies face significant consequences, including canceled registration for students and progressive discipline for faculty and staff.

For additional resources, including information on accommodations, travel, and affiliate and visitor guidelines, visit umd.edu/4Maryland.

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.