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COVID19 Updates

  • The health and well-being of our campus community is our highest priority. The University's Task Force is working diligently to stay informed of changing dynamics in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We will keep the campus informed of any and all updates on this page.

    May 11, 2020

    CARES Act Update


    April 8, 2020

    The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued new guidance on the use of face coverings.  

    If you do not have a face mask, here is a CDC video to assist you in making one:  

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html


    March 26, 2020 1 p.m.

    Move-out of residence halls is taking place and classes will resume via distance-learning on Monday, March 30, 2020.

    All new information for individual audiences (Students, Faculty, Staff) is being added in the tabbed areas. Click on the topic in the left navigation bar. 


    March 13, 2020

    NO in-person classes/exams today, however campus is open.

    March 10, 2020 5:30 pm

    As of today, no positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are currently known at UMES or in any county on the Eastern Shore, however the University continues to make preparations to help prevent the spread of the virus to our area.

    Effective immediately, we are implementing guidelines that will take effect in two steps. In the first step, we will limit meetings and large gatherings, encourage social distancing and remote learning, and prepare some staff to telework. All events scheduled to take place on campus in the next two weeks will be cancelled.

    From March 23 - April 3, instruction will be delivered online in courses for which this is possible. The campus will not be closed other than Monday and Tuesday of Spring Break as previously planned on the campus calendar, however, we ask that students not return to campus until Saturday, April 4. Please check your campus email, the UMES website and the University’s social media accounts for announcements regarding any updates.

    When preparing to leave for Spring Break, students should take with them all essential belongings, including medications and other materials, in case it should become necessary to implement step two of the guidelines, which may include restricting access to campus for a more extended period of time.

    UMES is also discouraging its students, faculty and staff from all international and national travel at this time. The threat of COVID-19 will not last forever at its current level. Delaying travel now may prevent you from being infected or becoming a carrier and transmitting the virus to your loved ones, including elderly family members who may be at increased risk.

    We are also advising all faculty and staff to refrain from travel outside your normal commute. If you do travel, we ask you to be socially responsible, and subject yourself to a 14-day self-isolation period before returning to campus. The 14-day isolation would commence, upon your return from travel.

    These measures follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USM and Maryland Department of Health on controlling the spread of the virus by decreasing the potential for human-to-human transmission.

    At this time, other university operations will continue, and faculty and staff should report to campus, as usual, until further notice. We will continue to re-evaluate this situation on a daily basis.

    Please monitor www.umes.edu/covid19 for additional updates, including campus communications and event cancellations.


    March 10, 2020 9 am

    As of today, March 10, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in any county on Maryland's Eastern Shore. UMES will continue to operate normally, but limit large events and encourage social distancing (leaving three to six feet between people) as well as implement additional cleaning procedures. Flu is prevalent in our area so please continue to be diligent in appropriate hand hygiene (washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) and covering coughs and sneezes. For more specific questions, please reach out to Ms. Grant at the campus health center at (410) 651- 6597.  

    Resources from CDC: 

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID19-symptoms.pdf

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs.pdf


    Resources for information:

    https://www.usmd.edu/coronavirus

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/index.html  

    UMB Clinical Guidance - UMES is following the same guidelines as UMB

    Guidance to UMB Students Regarding International Travel - UMES is following the same guidelines as UMB

    Guidance to UMB Faculty and Staff Regarding International Travel - UMES is following the same guidelines as UMB


    March 6, 2020 11:50 am

    Dear Students

    As I hope you are aware, our institution is working in conjunction with the University System of Maryland to appropriately and proactively prepare our response to any possible COVID-19 infections in our area. 

    We know you are concerned and have questions about managing sickness, should it occur.  At the moment, we are continuing with the semester as usual, and it is important to note that we already have a protocol in place for regular illnesses.  Anyone who feels ill should practice self-isolation and see a physician if illness is concerning and/or prolonged.

    -We encourage anyone with symptoms of flu to see their physician or visit an urgent care center. These symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath and/or a temperature above 100.4 degrees F. 

    -UMES is committed to honoring all health provider notes regarding documented absences.

    -We encourage the campus community to use safe practices: Wash hands frequently, cover their noses and mouths when sneezing/coughing and get plenty of rest.              

    -It will take all of our efforts to keep our environments clean. Wipe surfaces with disinfectant products.

    -We are encouraging faculty members to keep Blackboard sites for each class complete and ready to be used in place of face-to-face classes, if that becomes necessary.  We hope this will also help students who may not be able to attend face-to-face class if they are ill. 

    Thank you for your continued engagement and involvement this semester. We will continue to update you as the COVID-19 situation develops.

     Be well,

    Hans Cooper
    Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Experience

    March 6, 2020 10:30 am

    Dear Colleagues,

    As you are aware, our institution is working in conjunction with the University System of Maryland to appropriately and proactively prepare our response to any possible COViD-19 infections in our area. 

    Several faculty members have already written to Academic Affairs with questions about managing student and faculty illness, should it occur.  At the moment, we are continuing with the semester as usual, and it is important to note that we already have a protocol in place for regular student and faculty illness:  all who feel ill should practice self-isolation, see a physician if illness is concerning and/or prolonged, and come back to class or work with a physician’s note to account for absences.  Now, we also ask that you please adapt the following new actions:

    Know who is in your class and who is not. Send all students who come to class with symptoms of flu to see their physician or an urgent care center. These symptoms include:  coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath and/or a temperature above 100.4 degrees F. 

    Honor all health provider notes regarding students' absences.

    Encourage students to use safe practices: wash hands frequently, cover their noses and mouths while sneezing/coughing; get plenty of sleep.     

    As faculty, we already keep our classrooms clean, but please take extra notice of any extra desk surfaces or work spaces that might need attention.  Our housekeeping staff can help you, but it will take all of our efforts to keep our environments clean.

    Make certain that your Blackboard site for each class is complete and ready to be used in place of face-to-face class, if that becomes necessary.  This same preparation will help students who may not be able to attend face-to-face class if they are ill.  Make sure that all necessary assignments are spelled out with clear instructions. This includes reading assignments, exercises (that can be done via distance) and discussion boards. Have make-up assignments available online.

    Work with your Chairs (and Deans, when necessary) to get extra support for adapting assignments for distance learning, particularly to help students who are absent stay on track.

    Reach out to the Center for Teaching Excellence, as well as other colleagues, or Academic Affairs if you would like help thinking about alternative pedagogical and assessment strategies.

    Thank you for your continued excellence in all your work. We will continue to update you as the COViD19 situation develops.

    Regards,

    Nancy Niemi
    Provost

     

    March 6, 2020 10:00 AM

    Dear Campus Community,

    As you are aware, our institution is working in conjunction with the University System of Maryland (USM) to appropriately and proactively prepare our response to any possible COVID-19 infections in our area. 

    Several campus community members have inquired about managing staff, student and faculty illness, should it occur.  At the moment, we are continuing with the semester as usual, and it is important to note that we already have a protocol in place for regular illnesses: All who feel ill should practice self-isolation, see a physician if illness is concerning and/or prolonged, and come back to class or work with a physician’s note to account for absences. 

    We encourage all to use safe practices: wash hands frequently, cover their noses and mouths while sneezing/coughing; get plenty of rest.   

    The university strongly encourages that we all restrict greetings to respectful nods and smiles, or elbow bumps to replace handshakes and hugs to reduce the possibility of spreading germs.

    Please understand this is a continually developing and fluid situation with new guidance coming to us as data and information becomes available.  As the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the University System of Maryland (USM) and State of Maryland update us with the latest information, UMES will continue to keep the campus community informed.