Dear University of Maryland Community,
On July 14 and 15, 2020, the University of Maryland offered volunteer PCR COVID-19 testing to its entire campus community. The purpose of this testing pilot was to provide "free of charge" access to certified state of Maryland PCR COVID-19 testing to anyone, who is a student, or employee of the university.
Over 1,800 individuals registered for these two days of free PCR COVID-19 testing. The pilot testing was led by the outstanding staff of the University Health Center (UHC) under the supervision of Dr. Sacared Bodison, interim Executive Director of UHC. The UHC staff was supported by staff from Maryland Athletics under the supervision of Drs. David Klossner (Director of Sports Performance) and Yvette Rooks (Director of Sports Medicine). All of the testing was conducted at Maryland Stadium. Following Maryland Department of Health guidance, the UHC employed the services of certified Nurse Externs supplied by the Chesapeake Registry of the State of Maryland to collect nasal swab samples from patients. All test kits were procured from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Collected test samples were evaluated by the Institute for Genomics at UMB within a 72-hour timeframe.
The final testing results are summarized below:
- Total Number of Individuals Tested = 1443
- Total Number of Faculty Tested = 260
- Total Number of Staff Tested = 655
- Total Number of Students Tested = 528
- Total Number of Positive Cases = 15
- Overall positivity rate of group tested = 1.04%
Individuals who tested positive have been notified by the University Health Center, and contact identification and tracing protocols have been initiated by the UHC and the Prince George's County Health Department. All of these individuals are required to self-isolate. Also, those known to be in close contact with individuals who tested positive will be required to quarantine.
The overall positivity rate of 1.04% is below the positivity rate of the State of Maryland average of 3.8%. It is important to point out that the physical campus is currently operating in a highly reduced density state where there are approximately 3,000 faculty, staff and students in buildings on campus.
I am encouraged by the testing results as we move forward with the preventive actions and initiatives taken by the university to minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19 to our employees and our students. Our priority is the health, safety and well-being of every campus citizen.
As a reminder, please visit our 4 Maryland website to learn about our Reopening Plan and healthy behaviors that will help keep you and others safe. A digital brochure is also available for download that contains the most-up-to-date information about the fall semester.
Together we are TerrapinSTRONG!