Over the past several weeks, we have communicated with you many times about such important matters as COVID-19 testing, healthy behaviors, and student conduct expectations. We announced the postponement of all fall intercollegiate athletics and a two-week delay in the resumption of undergraduate in-person instruction. There has also been a dizzying amount of information in the media about case counts and positivity rates at other leading universities, and the availability of testing nationally, in the State of Maryland, and right here in Prince George's County.
Today, Governor Larry Hogan announced that, for the first time, the COVID-19 positivity rate in all Maryland jurisdictions - including here in Prince George’s County - has fallen below 5 percent. We need your help in keeping this trend going.
Transparency and testing are two key measures in our plans for the gradual reopening of campus. It is important that we understand and track the presence of COVID-19 in our community, and we must continue to test for coronavirus in order to curb the spread. Today, we officially launch our public COVID-19 campus dashboard that will provide our community with transparent and timely data about the prevalence of COVID-19 within our campus, based on UMD-administered testing.
The University of Maryland will begin the semester as scheduled on August 31 but will delay undergraduate in-person instruction until September 14. Undergraduate instruction will be delivered online for the first two weeks. All graduate-level instruction and approved research activities will proceed as planned.
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.