Message from the University Health Center: Important COVID-19 Campus Updates & Summer Expectations

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Thursday, May 6, 2021

The following message was sent to the university community from the Director of the University Health Center and Chief Medical Officer, Spyridon Marinopoulos, on May 6, 2021.


Dear Campus Community, 

We applaud the outstanding efforts of our students, faculty, and staff in following the 4 Maryland healthy behaviors, testing expectations, and daily symptom monitoring this semester. Thanks to your cooperation and due diligence, our positivity rates have remained low this past month. While the pandemic is not over, the marked progress is a testament to your adherence to public health guidelines and perhaps an early indicator of the impact of vaccinations. It is important to offer some updates on masking, vaccinations and summer testing expectations.

Masking
In accordance with CDC and Prince George’s County Health Department guidelines, if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you do not need to wear a mask when outdoors walking, running, hiking or biking, or in small outdoor gatherings with members of your household or with other fully vaccinated people. Masks are still required for everyone in crowded outdoor venues, indoor buildings, and while on public transportation.

Vaccines
As announced by the USM Chancellor, vaccinations will be required for all students, faculty, and staff returning to campus this fall semester. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible and no later than August 2, to ensure the requirement is met before the fall semester begins. To be considered fully vaccinated, please ensure that you will have received your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or your single-dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on or before August 2. Please keep in mind that, depending on the type of vaccine you receive, you may have to receive your first dose no later than July 6. 

The Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines have been extensively tested for both safety and efficacy. The vaccines have met Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety standards and are being carefully monitored to detect any problems or side effects. 

As the Chancellor announced, we will of course comply with all federal and state laws in granting appropriate exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Expectations for international student vaccinations are forthcoming.

New Testing Guidance
The university will transition to new testing expectations during the summer when our campus will be less densely populated. Beginning May 22

  • Students, faculty, and staff who are vaccinated and do not have symptoms will not need to be tested in June and July. Please indicate your vaccination status on your UMD daily symptom monitoring survey and be prepared to provide proof of vaccination if requested. 
  • Community members who plan to be on campus this summer and who have not yet been vaccinated will need to be tested at least once per month and attest the results at return.umd.edu.
  • Testing will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer.

4 Maryland
While some of the testing and masking expectations have changed, it is still important for our community to wear a properly fitted mask when required, wash your hands often, keep your distance from others, and stay home if you are sick. As a reminder, any employees working on campus for the first time this summer, must be trained on the 4 Maryland protocols by their supervisor or department.

We continue to actively monitor the latest information from the CDC, State of Maryland, and Prince George’s County Health Department to help guide our decisions and expectations for the fall semester.  If you have any questions, please reach out to healthconcerns@umd.edu. Again, many thanks for your good work this semester.

Stay healthy and be well,

Spyridon S. Marinopoulos, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.P.
Director, University Health Center and Chief Medical Officer

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