University System of Maryland Statement on COVID-19 Testing and Symptom Monitoring for Students and Employees Returning in Fall 2020

Baltimore, Md. (July 30, 2020)Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the safety of our students and employees has guided the University System of Maryland’s (USM) planning and decision-making. The uncertainty surrounding COVID spread and impact demands that our plans be flexible enough to respond to disease risk in real time, changing as COVID conditions and safety guidelines change.

Disease conditions have, in fact, changed; sharp increases in COVID-19 cases have been documented across the nation in recent weeks. In light of this COVID spike, the USM is implementing certain testing, symptom monitoring, and infection prevention and control protocols for all students and employees returning to campus in the fall. They are intended to help all of us within the USM fulfill our mutual commitment to protect one another and do our part to reduce disease transmission.

Each USM university and regional center will provide detailed guidance to students and employees regarding compliance with the following protocols.

COVID-19 testing is mandatory for all USM on-campus students and employees. Anyone returning in-person to a USM institution must be tested for COVID-19 within 14 days prior to their arrival, and must provide university officials confirmation of a negative COVID test result.

Certain USM universities are, themselves, conducting this testing as students and employees arrive on campus. Others are beginning their fall semester imminently, within 14 days of this guidance. In the cases of these universities—and others in which testing arrangements vary from USM protocols—students and employees should follow the testing guidance issued by their institution.

Out-of-state students arriving at a USM institution must be compliant with Maryland guidelines on testing and quarantine.

Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 prior to arrival will not be allowed on campus, and should consult with their health care provider immediately. These students and employees will be permitted on campus only after a required period of isolation has been met, per public health guidelines.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 following their arrival on campus will consult with university officials regarding medical follow-up and isolation requirements.

Universities will provide guidance to students and employees who have been tested for COVID-19 but are still awaiting their test results at the start of the fall semester. Additionally, universities will share alternative testing arrangements with anyone who is unable to access a COVID test before arriving on campus.

Furthermore, all students and employees returning to a USM institution must begin daily symptom monitoring and reporting 14 days before their arrival on campus. Universities will provide further evaluation and guidance to anyone reporting COVID-associated symptoms.

On-campus students and employees, as well as all visitors to a USM institution, must meet the following requirements.
  • Use of a mask or face covering in campus buildings and on campus grounds, in accordance with local orders
  • Physical distancing of at least six feet between individuals
  • Compliance with local guidance on events and gatherings
  • Vigilant hand hygiene (washing, sanitizing, limited face-touching)
  • Daily symptom monitoring, as stipulated by each institution

Universities will share with their campus communities the consequences of non-compliance with these rules.

Adherence to these testing, symptom monitoring, and disease mitigation protocols is essential to the safety of our USM community, and to our ability to resume and sustain in-person instruction this fall.

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Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719