UMBC’s pandemic response is guided by the COVID-19 Planning Coordinating Committee. The committee consists of five major working groups addressing key focus areas: Academics; Students, Health, and Well-Being; Research and Creative Achievement; Events and Community Engagement; and Operations. These working groups and their sub-groups have engaged more than 150 campus representatives in their work, including faculty, staff and students, with a particular focus on shared governance representation.
We determined that the certain key assumptions must be achieved before we could safely reopen our campus to faculty, staff, and students. After achieving these milestones, we determined that we could safely allow a limited number of faculty, staff, and students to return to UMBC’s Catonsville campus for the fall 2020 semester. We will continue to ensure we are able to meet these milestones before considering any increase in the number of faculty, staff, and students we can safely welcome back to campus for the spring 2021 semester and beyond. We continue to work with USM partners and external public health agencies to confirm our ability to accomplish and maintain each of these milestones:
- We must be able to perform COVID-19 screening and evaluation of students, faculty, and staff who are scheduled to return to campus for classes, research, and creative achievement endeavors, and work, in accordance with parameters set by the USM Testing/Assessment Group (a team of experts from across the system) and relevant laws and regulations.
- We must have an adequate ability to continue to monitor returning students, faculty, and staff for COVID-19-like symptoms, and quickly provide appropriate interventions and advice, in accordance with guidance from the USM Testing/Assessment Group.
- We must have an effective contact tracing process in place through the Baltimore County Health Department, with UMBC providing assistance, case management, and support as appropriate.
- We must be able to secure appropriate PPE, sanitation supplies, and any additional materials required to meet our standards for protection, physical distancing, cleaning, and other aspects of risk mitigation.
- We must be able to articulate and broadly communicate a clear standard of care that covers all on-campus endeavors and participants, and that is consistent with all federal, state, and local government guidance, specifically expert guidance from the CDC, OSHA, and other public health officials.
- It is understood that in planning for or implementing on-campus activities, we must fully take into consideration the needs of those members of our community who could be, or have been, disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- We must be able to appropriately and safely achieve reduced density of people on campus, including appropriate physical distancing in instructional spaces, residence halls, common areas, food services venues, meeting spaces, etc.
- We must have the workforce, supplies, and adequate time to clean and sanitize all campus spaces in use in accordance with protocols established and best guidance from public health experts.