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UMBC COVID-19 Testing Update

September 23, 2020 12:21 PM
Dear UMBC Community:

We deeply appreciate the many precautions that students, faculty, and staff are consistently taking to protect your health and the health of others on campus and in the broader community. The UMBC Public Health Dashboard update released today reports a current COVID-19 campus positivity rate of 0.2 percent, based on test results received September 8 through 22. The current Baltimore County positivity rate is 2.3 percent. During this reporting period, two new cases were identified among students, faculty, and staff. Each individual and their reported contacts have received appropriate follow-up support.

We are encouraged by these early results and optimistic that continued caution and discipline will enable UMBC’s fall semester to continue as planned, with limited numbers of students in residence halls and on-campus classes required for their academic progress.

We also know that ongoing vigilance is essential to minimize the spread of COVID-19. All community members approved to be on campus must complete COVID-19 testing, daily symptom tracking, and health and safety training requirements. Learn more on UMBC’s Health & Safety page. Campus testing will continue every week in a surveillance mode. Surveillance testing methods will include: (1) random sampling, (2) targeted test sampling of people in settings with greater interaction (i.e., research labs, music and theatre classes, residence halls), or (3) responsive testing to follow up in situations where we are aware of exposure or possible exposure to COVID-19. In addition, surveillance testing within Athletics exceeds NCAA standards. Men’s and Women’s Basketball students and staff are tested weekly as they actively prepare for a planned season start on November 25. Other student athletes are tested on a rotating basis, with 25 percent of the roster tested every other week.

We want to recognize the Fall Planning Coordinating Committee’s Testing Group—comprised of leaders from Student Affairs, the Division of Information Technology, Human Resources, the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Institutional Advancement, University Health Services, and University Police—for developing and managing so many of the new administrative and clinical processes necessary to safeguard the health of the campus. And we especially thank Emergency Health Services Professor Lucy Wilson, M.D. for sharing her expertise in infectious disease outbreak response with UMBC leaders, other University System of Maryland institutions, and the State of Maryland during this pandemic.

Again, our deepest thanks to each of you for continuing to do your part to protect our campus.

Provost Philip Rous, Vice President Lynne Schaefer, and Vice President Nancy Young
Tags: covid19
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