Dear campus community,
Happy New Year’s Eve, Terps. As we prepare to return from Winter Break and start a new year, we are actively monitoring the increase of COVID-19 cases across the region and the country, driven largely by the high transmission rate of the Omicron variant.
We previously announced measures for the winter term (January 3-21, 2022); most courses will be delivered online. Instructors and students attending an in-person class must have an official negative result of a COVID-19 test that was taken no sooner than 24 hours prior to their first in-person class meeting. Testing will be available at Stamp Student Union on January 3, 6, 10 and 13. No appointment required.
The campus will open as planned on January 3. Normal campus operations will continue throughout January and staff are expected to maintain regular work schedules. Supervisors are encouraged to work with eligible staff on flexible work arrangements, including telework, as appropriate. This is an effort to keep campus density low in the early weeks of the new year.
Looking ahead to the start of the spring semester on January 24, it is likely that additional health protocols will be implemented. In the meantime, the following actions will help keep you and your loved ones healthy:
- We strongly urge every member of our campus community who has not already done so to receive the COVID booster as soon as possible. The booster increases protection from the virus and helps prevent serious illness and hospitalization.
- Wear KN95 masks whenever you are indoors.
- Especially critical today on New Year’s Eve, please be mindful of large indoor gatherings where you do not know the vaccination status of others.
Campus health protocols will be developed based on evolving COVID-19 conditions and in close consultation with campus and local health officials. Decisions about actions – likely to include testing and a booster requirement for all faculty, staff and students – will be announced no later than January 10.
Working together, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and look ahead to a happy and healthy new year.
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
Jennifer King Rice
Senior Vice President and Provost