Dear Terp parents and family members,
The fall semester has begun and we hope your students are settling in to their coursework and finding ways to connect to others in our community, even if virtually. As many of you are aware, we are experiencing cases of positive COVID-19 infection across the university. Having positive cases has been expected and was noted in an email from President Darryll Pines. We recognize this may raise concerns for some parents and families. As such, we are writing to provide information about what you can expect as we work to address the individual positive cases of COVID-19 affecting students both on-campus and off-campus.
We will communicate directly with all affected students when there is a positive COVID-19 case. Students are our priority, and we will work quickly to communicate all necessary information with them. The student will then determine how best to share information with family or loved ones.
University Health Center (UHC) staff will contact a student if they participated in university testing and test positive for COVID-19.
UHC staff will follow-up with a student when they self-report to the University Health Center that they received a positive COVID-19 test at an off-campus testing facility.
UHC staff will notify anyone who needs to quarantine as a result of close contact with/exposure to an individual with positive results.
Furthermore, we will notify residents of a university-owned building regarding a positive case on the same floor of that residence hall or university-owned fraternity or sorority house as a reminder for students to remain vigilant and follow 4Maryland guidelines.
Only those students who are informed to do so need to quarantine or isolate. If your student is not contacted by the University Health Center and/or the Prince George’s County Health Department, they do not need to do anything other than continue to follow 4Maryland guidelines.
If a student is positive for COVID-19, they require isolation for 10 days. This is non-negotiable. They will be contacted by the University Health Center with instructions. They also are required to provide information about close contacts to the university and/or the county. Failure to comply will result in a referral to Student Conduct, the outcome of which could be interim suspension from the university. Students who require isolation should do so at their permanent home address; however, we recognize this will not be an option for everyone. If there are extenuating circumstances and this is not possible, they can consult with our housing team and we will work on placement in our on-campus isolation housing.
If a student is determined by the University Health Center or Prince George’s County Health Department to be a close contact, they require quarantine for 14 days. This is non-negotiable. They will be contacted by the University Health Center with instructions. Failure to comply will result in a referral to Student Conduct, the outcome of which could be interim suspension from the university. Students who require quarantine should do so at their permanent home address; however, we recognize this will not be an option for everyone. If there are extenuating circumstances and this is not possible, they can consult with our housing team and we will work on placement in our on-campus quarantine housing.
In some cases, students who reside in non-university apartments or residences may be able to quarantine in place. Officials from the University Health Center will make that determination in consultation with the student.
A Quarantine/Isolation (Q/I) Case Manager will be assigned to each student who will isolate or quarantine on campus. The primary objective of the Q/I case management system is to provide regular check-ins with students who have been assigned to Q/I housing. During a scheduled check-in, the case manager will assess the student's various needs including medical, mental health, housing, personal items, food and dietary, academic and transportation (only for when a student enters and vacates Q/I housing when assistance with medical or emergency room transport is needed). If any needs are identified, the case manager will work with relevant offices to address the identified needs. To ensure that case managers are able to meet the needs of students in Q/I housing, the case managers are a dedicated point of contact for our students only. Family members of Q/I housed students can contact the Office of Parent and Family Affairs with questions or concerns at 301.314.8429 or email@example.com.
We are providing transparent and timely data about the presence of COVID-19 within our campus. We are actively tracking metrics and making them available on the UMD COVID-19 Community Dashboard. The dashboard provides positivity rate, number of weekly new cases, and availability of quarantine and isolation space. Identifying information about individual positive cases of COVID-19 will not be shared.
Decisions are being made to protect the health and safety of every member of the university community. We are following Centers for Disease Control guidelines and all state and county health criteria. If any action taken seems too cautious, please remember that the decisions we make are for the health and safety of your student and of the entire community.
We hope this document assists you with your understanding of our processes, response, and what you can expect. Even though we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our UMD community, this virus is unpredictable. What we know today may change tomorrow. But what we can say for sure is that every member of the university—especially our team across the Division of Student Affairs—is giving their very best during these challenging times.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Parent and Family Affairs at 301.314.8429 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff members are available from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday. Messages received outside of these hours, including weekends, will be returned as soon as possible and based on priority of need.
We continue to wish you and your students good health! With gratitude for the opportunity to support and serve you and our students,
Sacared Bodison, MD
Interim Director, University Health Center
Patty Perillo, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Director, Parent and Family Affairs