UMB COVID-19 Guidance on Events, Eating, and Drinking

August 16, 2021 (updated December 17, 2021)

As University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) in-person activities increase, many students, faculty, and staff want in-person engagement opportunities. Although more than 98 percent of on-campus students and more than 95 percent of on-campus employees are vaccinated against COVID-19, due to the Delta variant UMB has implemented additional safety measures for events, eating, and drinking.

Events that adhere to UMB health safety requirements are informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), University System of Maryland, local, and state guidance. Dean or vice president approval is needed for events that exceed established criteria. Faculty and staff should consult their dean or VP’s office to learn of any additional considerations. School-based student organizations should speak with their student affairs deans to learn about additional requirements. Campus-based student organizations can contact UMB Student Affairs.

In addition to guidelines outlined in the UMB Return to Campus Guide, including the UMB COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols and the UMB Policy Requiring Use of Face Coverings, please note the following:

  1. As of Sept. 20, 2021, UMB indoor events may not provide food that is intended to be eaten at the event — only grab-and-go food and beverages will be permitted. This will minimize the need to remove masks while in group settings and thereby reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 on campus.
    1. People attending such events are subject to UMB COVID exposure protocol that may include self-isolation, and not being allowed on campus if a person who attended the event tests positive. 
  2. University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) or UMB-sponsored social or community events outside of the hospital or UMB premises (e.g., sporting events, fundraising events, celebrations, etc.) must follow UMB guidelines for community events on premises, as well as applicable state and national guidelines for occupancy, masking, et cetera. UMMS and UMB will refrain from providing tickets to UMMS or UMB-sponsored events for networking (e.g., sporting events, etc.). Requests for student events will be reviewed by UMB Student Affairs.

  3. At this time, UMB strongly recommends against hosting/sponsoring indoor events such as those normally scheduled in celebration of the holiday season (for example, holiday parties) for 2021.

  4. Identify the event’s location and assess how many people can safely attend. Consider attendance at in-person activities as optional and offer hybrid or virtual accommodations when possible. Account for physical distancing restrictions in rooms/facilities and not just capacity limits.
  5. As of Dec. 20, 2021, a KN95 or equivalent face covering must be worn at all times indoors while on UMB’s campus or at an off-campus location occupied by UMB community members (e.g., Shady Grove, MPRC, Donaldson Brown, Columbus Center, etc.), regardless of vaccination status. See the UMB Policy Requiring Use of Face Coverings for additional details.

  6. Offer registration in advance and onsite in case there is a COVID-19 exposure and contact tracing needed.
    1. Students, faculty, and staff who are working, studying, or living on campus or in University or affiliated organization buildings on campus, or clinical practices off campus who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 should call the UMB Hotline.

  7. Use current capacity guidelines projected by the University Health Focus Area:



Fall Operations

Indoor gatherings

and meetings

Up to 25 people; larger size meetings require Dean or VP designee approval

Outdoor gatherings

and meetings

Up to 250 people; larger size meetings require Dean or VP designee approval

Events exceeding 25 visitors in attendance

Please contact your Dean or VP designee during the proposal process [1]

[1] UMB permits events with over 25 people with approval from a Dean or VP office. UMB requires approval from the Dean’s or VP’s office to confirm the proposed facilities and safety measures are adequate for the event. Prior to the start of the fall semester, UMB reviewed its classroom facilities and safety measures to confirm they were appropriate. Thus, additional approvals to hold classes are not required at this time

UMB Student Affairs in collaboration with the schools is requiring student organizations to register their events using UMBengaged, an online student engagement platform. The online event registration process will ask students to consider a variety of risks associated with holding events, including, but not limited to, COVID-19 health safety considerations.

Updated guidance regarding events in fall 2021 will be shared as more allowances or restrictions are announced by UMB leadership.