Department of Resident Life

 

 

November 29, 2018

 

Dear parents and families of residents living in Elkton Hall,

We are writing with updates regarding the mold remediation effort in Elkton Hall that was completed on October 10 and to respond to questions received about the Adenovirus.

We felt it was important to share with you that the University has received and released the final reports from the independent indoor environmental quality specialists hired to review and assist with the Elkton Hall mold remediation process.  Building Dynamics, LLC. and Vertex Companies, Inc., two independent engineering and industrial hygiene consulting firms have provided the reports. They can be found here (include links). Additional documents and communications related to the mold remediation effort are available at reslife.umd.edu/moldconcerns/.

These two firms were part of a larger team of university staff and contractors who helped complete the remediation effort.  You?ll recall that after seeing an increase in reports of mold, the university made the decision to relocate Elkton residents to nearby hotels, one-two floors at a time, and hired independent contractors to assist in the remediation efforts. As of October 10, the comprehensive remediation and cleanup were completed.  We know that this was a difficult time for your sons and daughters. We know this was disruptive for everyone, but please know that every decision made around student relocation and mold clean-up was driven first and foremost by student safety.

More recently, we understand that many students and families are concerned about media reports that have raised whether there is a connection between exposure to mold and Adenovirus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that no link exists between mold and Adenovirus, and it appears that there is no consistent connection between mold exposure and the incidents of Adenovirus infection affecting UMD students.

The CDC states Adenoviruses are common causes of colds and are normally found in significant numbers of people at this time of year. However, there are strains that can cause more serious illness. We are saddened that one UMD student, Olivia Paregol, recently passed away from Adenovirus-associated illness, and we offer our condolences to her family and friends.

Dr. David McBride, Director of the University Health Center, has been updating our community about adenovirus-related illnesses.  You can view those communications as well as FAQs and a timeline at health.umd.edu/adenovirus-resources. A list of locations where Adenovirus has been confirmed was recently added to this website, and you can see these cases have been confirmed in several residence halls and off-campus locations.

For students with chronic medical problems like asthma, diabetes or illnesses that lower their immune system, or those who take medicine that lowers their immune system, it is vitally important not to ignore flu-like symptoms (high fever and cough/sore throat and vomiting/diarrhea) and to visit the University Health Center or their personal physician within 48 hours of developing symptoms. As always, being vigilant in taking precautions is the best strategy for students during flu and virus season. Please encourage your son or daughter to:

  • Get a flu shot. Students can schedule an appointment at the University Health Center to receive a shot.
  • Wash their hands frequently and use the hand sanitizing stations that are located around campus.

  • Avoid those who are ill, if possible.

  • Clean high touch surfaces in their room with anti-bacterial cleaner (bleach wipes are very effective-follow the instructions on the packaging).

  • Cough into their sleeve or a tissue, not directly into their hands, and wash their hands immediately.

  • Avoid touching their face when you are ill and when healthy; this spreads germs!

  • Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups, and water bottles.

  • Avoid Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers unless you are truly sick as these locations will be crowded with many sick people. 

The university is working closely with the state and county health departments to monitor new cases and coordinate on testing. Departments across campus, including the Health Center, Residential Facilities, Facilities Management, Department of Transportation Services, Athletics, RecWell and The Stamp, have been vigilant in increasing cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms. Faculty have been asked to be flexible in allowing students to make decisions that are best for their health without necessarily providing documentation of their illness from a medical practitioner. The Counseling Center in Shoemaker Building is also available to students who are experiencing emotional distress.

We hope that you find this information helpful.

Sincerely,

 Departments of Resident Life and Residential Facilities


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Department of Resident Life
7626 Regents Drive
2101 Annapolis Hall, College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 314-2100
Email:
reslife@umd.edu   
Web:
reslife.umd.edu