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COVID-19 Information for End of Semester and Winter Break

Key Points

  • The increase of COVID-19 cases on campus is challenging but manageable.

  • During Winter Break, many COVID-19 response processes will be paused.

  • Community members who receive positive test results should reach out to their healthcare provider for guidance.

  • Certain compliance measures remain in effect, especially for faculty, staff, and students who will be on campus in January.

Dear UMBC Community,

As we near the end of the semester, we continue to manage a number of COVID-19 cases on campus. We appreciate the actions taken by all of our faculty, staff, and students to increase safety measures and offer flexibility for symptomatic students and colleagues. This increase on campus is challenging, but manageable, and we are fortunate that the cases have not been severe. We have no evidence of transmission within classrooms. In addition, we have reason to believe that most of our transmission is happening in unofficial gatherings where masking and distancing are not occurring.

At this time, we are planning to hold in-person graduation ceremonies as planned. Please be aware that we are carefully monitoring a broad range of factors and will keep the campus community informed if there are any changes. 

Given the very reduced number of community members on campus during Winter Break, we will pause most contact tracing and case response processes from December 23-January 2 in order to provide frontline staff a much needed respite. Community members in need of support will still be able to access immediate help by calling University Police or emailing covid19@umbc.edu for non-urgent concerns. Students on campus in need of medical support may also call the Retriever After Hours Support Line at 410-455-3230.

On-Campus COVID-19 Testing

UMBC’s on-campus PCR testing will pause during Winter Break. The last opportunity to test on campus is Tuesday, December 21 before 11am. However, self-administered rapid antigen tests will be available at the Police Station and the desks of open residence halls for any individual who is required to be on campus and test during the break.

If you receive a positive test result between December 21 and January 2, please work with your healthcare provider and/or local health department to seek care and guidance on quarantine and isolation. Students who test positive next week should complete their isolation period off-campus. If this is not possible, we will work with you to find alternative housing arrangements.


Students who have health and safety requirements may stop regular testing when they leave campus for the semester. However, if they will be on campus for winter courses, they must continue to symptom track during Winter Break and through the end of Winter Session. Testing requirements will resume the first day of any in-person or hybrid winter courses.

Faculty and staff with testing requirements will not need to test during the break but must continue to symptom track. Faculty and staff with testing requirements are expected to test when they return to campus on January 3.

Booster Clinics

We are very pleased that our on-campus COVID-19 booster and flu shots clinics have each filled to capacity. We are currently planning additional clinics in January. Clinics will be by appointment only. Dates and appointment links will be posted here.

Thank you for all of your efforts to keep our campus safe and healthy. We wish all of our students, faculty, and staff a productive conclusion of the semester and a restful break.

Provost Philip Rous

Vice President for Administration and Finance Lynne Schaefer

COVID-19 Planning Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs


Posted: December 19, 2021, 4:16 PM