Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19

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May 13, 2020 What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19? Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated COVID-19 symptoms to include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptoms range from mild symptoms to severe illness and may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Anyone who presents symptoms compatible with a COVID-19 or a flu-like illness should not be on UMB’s campus and should seek guidance from a health care provider. This includes all general, administrative, research, lab, and classroom settings.

Essential UMB faculty and staff, and on-campus students who have COVID-19 symptoms should call (800) 701-9863 to reach the UMB COVID-19 Hotline for guidance. Contact your health care provider or UMaryland Immediate Care (UMIC) at (667) 214-1899.

You should remain out of work for seven days from the onset of a flu-like illness, and after remain out until you have been symptom and fever-free (without the use of fever reducing medications or cough suppressants) for 72 hours. During the period that UMB is dealing with COVID-19, an employee will not be required to provide medical documentation upon return to work if the absence was due to a flu-like illness.

June 1, 2020 How can I protect myself and others from COVID-19? Health, Self-Quarantine, Social Distancing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:

  • Stay home from school or work if you feel sick with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Limit contact with others to keep from infecting them and do not return to class or work until you have been symptom-free (without use of fever or symptom reducing medications) for 72 hours.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Wear a cloth face cover when going out in public (ex. to pick up groceries or other necessities).
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under the age of 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • Continue to keep six feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for physical distancing.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the tissue after you use it. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand cleaners with at least 60 percent alcohol also are effective.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
  • Avoid shaking hands with others.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with a fever or cough. Officials believe COVID-19 spreads mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing.
March 18, 2020 If a student lives in Fayette Square or Pascault Row and believes they have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient, or they have contracted COVID-19 themselves, whom should they contact? Housing, Students

Students who live in Fayette Square or Pascault Row should refer to the 3/17/20 Letter to Residents located in the resources section of the UMB COVID-19 website or contact Margaret Schotto, director of UMB Housing, at 410-706-5523 or 410-706-5528 after business hours.

March 18, 2020 Will UMB prohibit students, faculty, or staff from coming to campus? Health, Self-Quarantine, Students, Tele-education, Telework

Our priority is to maintain a safe educational and work environment for our students, faculty, and staff. At this time all employees who are able to work remotely have been reassigned to telework and all classes have been canceled or moved to an online platform. For further information, employees should refer to the UMB COVID-19 Telework Policy and students should contact their specific instructors for information on class scheduling and access.

Individuals posing a public health risk to our community will not be permitted to come to campus.

Employees/students who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (cough, fever or shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or campus or who become sick during the day should be separated from other employees/students. Sick employees/students should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and immediately throw the tissue away. If you have a concern about the health of a student or employee on campus, you should contact your school’s Student Affairs Dean (students) or Human Resources (Employees). You should be mindful of confidentiality obligations related to student and employee personnel or medical information.

March 18, 2020 Will UMB excuse an absence for a student who is sick with COVID-19? Students, Health, Sick Leave

Those who are sick with COVID-19 should stay at home or in a health care facility until cleared by their local public health department to minimize the spread of the virus. Schools will make reasonable efforts to accommodate sick students. In some cases, make-up activity may not meet requirements for the student to continue in their studies as intended. The school and student will need to work together to determine a revised academic plan. Seek guidance from your school’s Academic Affairs office.

March 18, 2020 Will UMB excuse an absence for students who need to care for sick family members with COVID-19? Students, Health, Sick Leave

Students who are healthy but whose family members are home sick with COVID-19 should notify their school and refer to a health care provider for guidance on conducting a risk assessment of their potential exposure. Schools will make reasonable accommodations for students who are caring for a sick family member. In some cases, make-up activity may not meet requirements for the student to continue in their studies as intended. The school and student will need to work together to determine a revised academic plan. Seek guidance from your school’s Academic Affairs office.

March 18, 2020 Can I still go on my school- or work-related travel? Travel

Work-related out-of-state travel and international travel is prohibited.

There are the following exceptions to this subsection: (a) travel that is within 75 miles from the traveler’s normal workplace for essential clinical or client matters. Granting an exception requires the approval of the Dean (with advance notification to the Provost) for UMB employees, students or faculty practices, or UMMS Executive for UMMS employees. This decision will be made based on information at the time the individual has chosen to travel; or (b) Travel to return home by an individual already travelling at the outset of Step 2.

March 18, 2020 What does it mean to have to “self-quarantine”? What do I have to do? Housing, Self-Quarantine

Self-quarantine, or voluntary self-confinement, means UMB requests you to separate yourself, restrict your movement, and minimize your interactions with other people. The purpose is to limit the spread of COVID-19 because you have been identified as a person who had potential exposure during travel or work. Here are some concrete steps to help you make this happen:

  • Stay home (or in your provided accommodation or hotel room) except to get medical care. You will not be allowed to return back to classes, work, or rotations.
  • No visitors — only residents should be in the home. · If you live in Fayette Square or Pascault Row, refer to the 3/17/20 Letter to Residents on UMB’s COVID-19 Website or contact UMB Housing directly at 410-706-5523 for assistance.
  • Separate yourself from other people. Stay in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom. If this is not possible or was not maintained, other residents must also self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Call ahead before visiting a health care provider.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes. Wear a standard face mask if you are sick. This minimizes your chance of infecting others. (Note: An N-95 respirator is not an effective face mask for those who are sick.)
  • Clean your hands often. Wash with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean “common” or “high-touch” surfaces every day.
  • Monitor your symptoms. Measure your temperature and be aware of a worsening cough, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath. If any of these happen, contact a health care provider for an urgent care appointment or visit the closest emergency room. Please call ahead first.

Be aware that campus health or the local health department may also maintain status checks on your health and confirm that you are confining yourself.

March 18, 2020 What resources are available if I am feeling stressed because of coronavirus? Health, Sick Leave

Students, faculty, and staff may experience stress and/or anxiety because of the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19. Students are encouraged to contact the Student Counseling Center at 410-328-8404. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program at 667-214-1555.

March 25, 2020 Should I participate in large gatherings or events? Health, Social Distancing

UMB/UMMS-hosted events scheduled on or before April 5, 2020, have been canceled. For events scheduled after April 5, 2020, it is advised that event hosts consider COVID-19 risks and advice from government health officials along with other factors that trigger a “go/no-go decision”. Please keep in mind that COVID-19 risks may cause cancellation of events in the foreseeable future.

Per executive order of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded.

March 18, 2020 What is the difference between isolation and quarantine? Health, Self-Quarantine

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease. 

Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example, hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.

Isolation and quarantine are used to protect the public by preventing exposure to infected persons or to persons who may be infected.

June 1, 2020 Is physical distancing a requirement? HR Policy, Social Distancing

Physical distancing is encouraged in all situations, and it is required in certain workplace situations even in the absence of COVID-19 symptoms.

June 1, 2020 How do I practice physical distancing? HR Policy, Social Distancing

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals are asked to avoid mass gatherings and congregate settings (large meetings, conventions, churches, malls, etc.) and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others when possible.

May 13, 2020 What if I am presenting COVID-19 symptoms? Health, HR Policy

Anyone who presents symptoms compatible with a COVID-19 or a flu-like illness should not be on UMB’s campus and should seek guidance from a health care provider. This includes all general, administrative, research, lab, and classroom settings. Contact your health care provider or UMaryland Immediate Care at 667-214-1899.

Essential UMB faculty and staff, and on-campus students who have COVID-19 symptoms should call the UMB COVID-19 Hotline at 800-701-9863 for guidance.

Remain out of work for seven days from the onset of a flu-like illness. Do not return to work until you have been symptom- and fever-free (without the use of fever-reducing medications or cough suppressants) for 72 hours.

Wear a facemask until all symptoms resolve or for 14 days from when you started feeling sick, whichever is longer. During the period that UMB is dealing with COVID-19, an employee will not be required to provide medical documentation upon return to work if the absence was due to a flu-like illness.

You or a caregiver should watch for worsening symptoms such as trouble breathing, pressure or pain in the chest, confusion or inability to wake, and bluish lips or face. If these symptoms develop seek emergency medical care.

Learn more in UMB’s Return to Work guidelines.

June 1, 2020 Can I hold administrative meetings? HR Policy, Social Distancing, Step One / Step Two

All in-person meetings are prohibited and should be moved to a virtual platform or canceled. A Dean or Vice President can make an exception on a case-by-case basis for a meeting deemed essential to critical operations (e.g., clinical team meetings) that must occur in-person that can be achieved with physical distancing.

March 18, 2020 Can I have meetings with visitors from outside the UMB community? HR Policy, Social Distancing, Step One / Step Two

All meetings with outside visitors should be moved to a virtual platform or canceled.

March 25, 2020 Will students be able to return to classes this semester? Students, HR Policy, Social Distancing

All didactic instruction will take place via distance learning for the remainder of the academic year.

June 1, 2020 Can I continue to participate in my clinical rotation, field placement, or internship (whether health social work, or law)? HR Policy, Social Distancing, Step One / Step Two, Students, Tele-education

Starting Saturday, March 19, 2020, all in-person experiential learning activities with patients and clients must be halted and converted to virtual or other options that do not involve in-person activities. 

Options that include activities such as distance simulation, special online resources, and online activities such as telemedicine, telehealth and telebehavioral health, and similar means of care delivery are encouraged.

Exceptions to this policy: Some UMB students have unmet graduation requirements that are critical in order to graduate on time this year. Innovative solutions should be sought to meet these needs. For example, clinical and field rotations for a small number of students that can be deemed extremely safe from novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection for students may be considered. These solutions must be approved by the dean of the relevant school in consultation with the provost. Careful records must be kept documenting the decision, the safety of the situation, and explicit measures taken to assure physical distancing.

Read more in the President's letter from March 19, 2020.

March 25, 2020 Will UMB events go on as planned? HR Policy, Social Distancing, Step One / Step Two

UMB/UMMS-hosted events scheduled on or before April 5, 2020, will be canceled. For events scheduled after April 5, 2020, it is advised that event hosts consider COVID-19 risks and advice from government health officials along with other factors that trigger a “go/no-go decision.” COVID-19 risks may cause cancelation of events in the foreseeable future.

Per executive order of the governor of Maryland, planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded.

March 25, 2020 What about on-campus events hosted by a non-UMB organization? HR Policy, Social Distancing, Step One / Step Two

On-campus events hosted by a non-UMB organization scheduled on or before April 5, 2020, will be canceled. For events scheduled after April 5, 2020, it is advised that event hosts consider COVID-19 risks and advice from government health officials along with other factors that trigger a “go/no-go decision.” COVID-19 risks may cause cancellation of events in the foreseeable future.

Per executive order of the governor of Maryland, planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded.

March 16, 2020 Can I travel outside of the country if it is work-related? HR Policy, Travel

All international work-related travel is prohibited until further notice, with the exception of travel to return home by an individual who was already traveling.

March 17, 2020 What about domestic work-related travel? HR Policy, Step One / Step Two, Travel

All domestic work-related travel is prohibited until further notice. With the exception of travel to return home by an individual who was already traveling at the onset of Step Two.

March 25, 2020 Can I still go on my personal travel plans? HR Policy, Step One / Step Two, Travel

Personal travel outside of Maryland (not related to regular commute) is strongly discouraged.

UMB may restrict access to UMB or UMMS facilities for anyone who travels against this advice.

Be aware this could include a 14-day period of self-quarantine.

Students traveling against UMB Policy or Advice are required to check with their Student Affairs Dean before returning to campus. Employees traveling against UMB Policy or Advice are required to contact Human Resources before returning to campus.

Decisions about whether a student or employee is required to stay away from campus/self-quarantine will be made in consultation with UMB’s health care providers (UMIC) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines or by Senior Leadership in consultation with public health officials. Please note that UMB's Travel Guidelines require all individuals traveling to areas with any CDC COVID-19 travel warning (1-3) to self-quarantine. (See: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices).

Employees traveling against UMB Policy or Advice should be aware that if they are unable to perform essential functions as result of a self-quarantine imposed due to the employee’s traveling against advice, their actions could severely impact business operations. Employees (faculty and staff) should speak to their supervisors before traveling.

March 25, 2020 What happens if I travel against UMB policy or advice? HR Policy, Self-Quarantine, Step One / Step Two, Travel

Personal travel outside of Maryland (not related to regular commute) is strongly discouraged.

UMB may restrict access to UMB or UMMS facilities for anyone who travels against this advice. Be aware this could include a 14-day period of self-quarantine.

Students traveling against UMB Policy or Advice are required to check with their Student Affairs Dean before returning to campus. Employees traveling against UMB Policy or Advice are required to contact Human Resources before returning to campus.

Decisions about whether a student or employee is required to stay away from campus/self-quarantine will be made in consultation with UMB’s health care providers (UMIC) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines or by Senior Leadership in consultation with public health officials. Please note that UMB's Travel Guidelines require all individuals traveling to areas with any CDC COVID-19 travel warning (1-3) to self-quarantine. (See: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices).

Employees traveling against UMB Policy or Advice should be aware that if they are unable to perform essential functions as result of a self-quarantine imposed due to the employee’s traveling against advice, their actions could severely impact business operations. Employees (faculty and staff) should speak to their supervisors before traveling.

March 18, 2020 What is a self-quarantine? HR Policy, Self-Quarantine

A self-quarantine (sometimes referred to as an asymptomatic quarantine) includes those instances when an individual is directed to not come to campus while they quarantine themselves for a period of time despite presenting no immediate symptoms of illness. These individuals may not be sick and may never present symptoms of illness.

Self-quarantines could arise when an individual is reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but is not yet symptomatic or when an employee is traveling from an area with travel restrictions in place.

March 18, 2020 What happens if an employee is required to be away from work for a period of quarantine but does not have any symptoms of illness? HR Policy, Self-Quarantine, Sick Leave, Travel

Remote work/telework should be the first option for employees who are physically well but are prevented from coming to work due to self-quarantine. If an employee is required by the University, health authorities, or a health care provider to be away from work as part of a self-quarantine, they will be permitted to use their Sick Leave or other forms of paid leave.

June 1, 2020 What do I do if I feel like I have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19? Health, HR Policy

Essential UMB faculty and staff, and on-campus students should call 800-701-9863 to reach the UMB COVID-19 Hotline to make a report. You can fill out the UMB Community COVID-19 Potential Exposure Form or contact UMaryland Immediate Care (UMIC) at 667-214-1899. Note that contact with someone else who was advised to self-quarantine does not mean you were exposed and does not warrant any special actions.

Please check your temperature two times a day for 14 days to watch for a fever. If you develop symptoms compatible with a COVID-19, please contact a medical provider and wear a facemask for 14 days.

Remain out of work for seven days from the onset of a flu-like illness. Do not return to work until you have been symptom- and fever-free (without the use of fever-reducing medications or cough suppressants) for 72 hours.

If you develop symptoms, you should be tested. Essential on-site UMB Faculty and Staff who have COVID-19 symptoms should call 800-701-9863 for testing assistance.

If a coworker on your team or somebody you live with tested positive for COVID-19, do not return to work for 14 days after the sick person’s symptoms resolve or your last interaction with them.

Whether a person thinks they have been exposed or not, everyone is encouraged to continue to practice physical distancing, regular handwashing, and other preventative hygiene practices.

Learn more in UMB’s Return to Work guidelines.

May 26, 2020 What happens if a UMB student or employee tests positive for COVID-19? Health, HR Policy

If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, contact the HR hotline at (410) 706-760 so that Human Resources may determine appropriate steps for notifying fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.

If a student is confirmed to have COVID-19, their Student Affairs dean should be contacted. Essential UMB faculty and staff, and on-campus students should call (800) 701-9863 to reach the UMB COVID-19 Hotline for guidance.

Ensuring the anonymity of these individuals is paramount. In making notifications, the identity and privacy of a person who tests positive should be respected so that they can focus completely on their health. We will do everything we can to support these individuals through what is undoubtedly a disconcerting and difficult time. If you are aware of their identities, please respect their privacy.

If you have worked closely with the sick person (within six feet for more than 15 minutes), do not return to work for 14 days after the sick person’s symptoms resolve or your last interaction with them. If you develop symptoms compatible with a COVID-19, please contact a medical provider and wear a facemask for 14 days.

If you develop symptoms, you should be tested. Essential on-site UMB Faculty and Staff who have COVID-19 symptoms should call 800-701-9863 for testing assistance.

If you have stayed more than six feet away from the sick person except for 10 to 15 minutes, you may continue to work if you don’t have symptoms compatible with a COVID-19. Check your temperature two times a day for 14 days to watch

for a fever. If you develop a sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath, please contact a medical provider.

Learn more about actions you should take if you’ve interacted with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in UMB’s Return to Work guidelines.

March 18, 2020 Will UMB close during episodic telework? Telework

No. UMB will remain open during any period of episodic telework. However, certain operations have been reassigned to remote locations.

March 18, 2020 Are the regular restrictions on teleworking applicable during episodic telework (e.g., related to presence of children)? Telework

No. The regular restrictions on teleworking are waived during this period.

March 18, 2020 What is the purpose of episodic telework? Telework

The goal is to dramatically reduce the number of people on campus, and thereby reduce the chance of spread.

March 18, 2020 Am I required to work during a period of episodic telework under the COVID-19 Telework Policy? Telework

All employees who are able to work remotely are immediately reassigned and required to telework, and if they need time away from work, they are required to use some form of accrued leave. Questions about leave can be directed to Human Resources.

March 18, 2020 What happens if my job cannot be performed remotely? Telework

Employees whose job functions are not able to be performed remotely, as determined by their supervisor, will be placed on Administrative Leave unless they have been deemed “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus.”

March 18, 2020 How do I know if I have been designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus”? Essential Employees

Employees who are designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” will receive a notification from their supervisor. If you have any questions, you should ask your supervisor.

May 13, 2020 If I have been designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” am I required to come to work? Essential Employees

Employees who are designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” may be required to report to work for their regularly scheduled shifts (with exceptions for illness and other COVID-19 related accommodations). Job duties that can be performed via telework should be performed remotely. These employees should stay in contact with their supervisors to determine whether their designation changes.

Employees who have been designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” needing accommodations should contact Human Resources.

Anyone who presents symptoms compatible with a COVID-19 or a flu-like illness should not be on UMB’s campus and should seek guidance from a health care provider. This includes all general, administrative, research, lab, and classroom settings. Contact your health care provider or UMaryland Immediate Care at 667-214-1899.

Learn more in UMB’s Return to Work guidelines.

May 13, 2020 What happens if I am designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” but am also sick? Essential Employees, Health, Sick Leave

Anyone who presents symptoms compatible with a COVID-19 or a flu-like illness should not be on UMB’s campus and should seek guidance from a health care provider. This includes all general, administrative, research, lab, and classroom settings. Contact your health care provider or UMaryland Immediate Care at 667-214-1899.

Remain out of work for seven days from the onset of a flu-like illness. Do not return to work until you have been symptom- and fever-free (without the use of fever-reducing medications or cough suppressants) for 72 hours.

Essential UMB faculty and staff, and on campus students who have COVID-19 symptoms can call 800-701-9863 to reach the UMB COVID-19 Hotline for guidance.

Learn more in UMB’s Return to Work guidelines.

March 18, 2020 Can I come to campus during episodic telework under the COVID-19 Telework Policy? Essential Employees, Telework

No employees should be at their worksite unless they have been deemed “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances - On Campus” or unless they have been instructed or allowed to be present by a dean or vice president (with notification to the provost) based on a compelling reason.

May 13, 2020 How long will episodic telework under the COVID-19 Telework Policy last? Telework

It is not known how long episodic telework under the COVID-19 Telework Policy will last. UMB will continue to evaluate these plans and work closely with state and local officials.

Please read President Bruce E. Jarrell’s Covid-19 General Updates Letter from April 9, 2020

The next update to episodic telework will occur no later than June 1, 2020

March 18, 2020 How do I access UMB applications and systems if I am teleworking? CITS, Telework

Almost all UMB applications and systems are web-based and can be accessed directly via a web browser on your home/remote computer. You do not need to use a virtual private network (VPN) connection unless a particular UMB application or system is not accessible via the web.

For information on VPNs – https://www.umaryland.edu/cits/service-catalog/vpn/

For more information on web browsers – https://www.umaryland.edu/cits/clearing-your-browswer-cache-and-cookies/

March 18, 2020 Will UMB provide me a computer if I need or want one? CITS, Telework

Employees who are able to work remotely on personal devices may be required to do so. Employees who need devices should speak with their supervisors about availability of UMB devices.

For more information about the technical aspects of telework, please review CITS Top 10 IT Recommendations for Telework.

March 25, 2020 Since we are going to be teleworking and not using UMB parking services, will parking deductions still be taken out of our paycheck? Essential Employees, Telework

Deductions for parking are made for employees who have parking hangtags and are not contingent upon whether an employee comes into work during a particular pay period.

There are fixed costs to run the parking operations that don't change because of COVID-19. The following are examples of those costs:

  • The open facilities must maintain operations to support UMB essential employees, patients, and UMMC staff (doctors and nurses). There are cost associated with the daily operations, including payment of parking employees and other contractual costs.
  • Maintenance of and upkeep of parking must be continued.
  • Debt Service payments on bonds continue to occur.

The University is committed to lessening the financial impact of COVID-19 absences on employees. Continuing to pay for parking helps ensure that these parking-related costs are paid while UMB continues its mission and serves the community.

March 18, 2020 Will Federal Work Study Student Employees and Non-Federal Work Study Student Employees still get paid? Students, Tele-education, Telework

UMB will continue to pay Federal Work Study Student Employees and Non-Federal Work Study Student Employees based on the average number of hours they typically work per week.

Students will submit their time as normal after receiving guidance from their supervisor.

Supervisors will determine whether student employees may be able to engage in telework for the average number of hours they typically work per week.

May 13, 2020 What happens if I have been designated as an “Essential Employee for Pandemic Purposes – On Campus” and I have an underlying medical condition or risk factor that puts me at greater risk? Essential Employees, HR Policy

No employee who is immuno-compromised or otherwise considered by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to be high-risk regarding COVID-19 will be required to work on campus. Faculty and staff over the age of 60 or those with CDC-recognized underlying conditions can contact Human Resources on a confidential basis and arrange telework, use accrued sick or other leave, or receive an excused absence.

Anyone who presents symptoms compatible with a COVID-19 or a flu-like illness should not be on UMB’s campus and should seek guidance from a health care provider. This includes all general, administrative, research, lab, and classroom settings. Contact your health care provider or UMaryland Immediate Care at 667-214-1899.

March 18, 2020 How do I use Office 365? CITS, Telework

The Enterprise Training Group is providing online classes on how to use Office 365 to work from home as well as providing specific detailed classes for Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, etc.

It is highly recommended that people read the information that is available on the Office 365 website – https://www.umaryland.edu/office365/. The site has been updated with additional information, including instructions for moving files to SharePoint from network file shares.

March 18, 2020 How do I use Webex, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, or Blackboard Collaborate for virtual meetings? CITS, Telework

For more information on Webex, including how to create a voice-only conference line - https://www.umaryland.edu/cits/services/webex/.

For more information on Skype for Business  - https://www.umaryland.edu/office365/skype-for-business/.

For more information on Microsoft Teams - https://www.umaryland.edu/office365/teams/.

For more information on Blackboard Collaborate - https://www.umaryland.edu/blackboard/collaborate/.

March 18, 2020 How do I install anti-virus software to protect my computer, my identity, and UMB systems? CITS, Cyber Security, Telework

If using Windows 10, turn on the built-in antivirus feature called Microsoft Defender. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17464/windows-10-help-protect-my-device-with-windows-security

Purchase Symantec Endpoint Protection here - https://cf.umaryland.edu/software_sales/.

Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer free antivirus software.

Comcast/Xfinity provides Norton Security Online - https://www.xfinity.com/hub/internet/internet-security

Verizon/FIOS provides Verizon Internet Security Suite - https://www.verizon.com/support/consumer/internet/essentials/internet-security-suite-download

AT&T provides AT&T Internet Security - https://www.att.com/support/article/u-verse-tv/KM1046931/

Spectrum provides Security Suite - https://www.spectrum.net/support/internet/security-suite-windows-installation/.

March 18, 2020 How can I be wary of coronavirus scams and phishing attempts? CITS, Cyber Security

Unscrupulous individuals are trying to take advantage of this situation. Never share personal information. 

For more information on spam - https://www.umaryland.edu/cits/services/spam/.

For more information on phishing - https://www.umaryland.edu/cits/it-security-and-compliance/.

March 18, 2020 How do I update my computer? CITS, Cyber Security, Telework

Make sure your operating system, anti-virus, web browsers, and other third-party software like Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat are all up to date.   Check for updates frequently.

March 18, 2020 Can I save sensitive University data using my personal device? CITS, Cyber Security, Telework

Do not save any sensitive University data to your personal device. Please save all work to Microsoft OneDrive or SharePoint.

March 18, 2020 Can I use public WiFi to conduct University business? CITS, Cyber Security, Telework

Do not use public WiFi to conduct sensitive University business. When connected to campus systems remotely, do not leave your computer unattended and make sure you log out when you have finished your work.

March 18, 2020 How do I add additional second factors to my Duo account? CITS, Cyber Security, Telework

If you are not already using the Duo Mobile app on your iPhone or Android, set up Duo Push for the best experience. 

If your only second factor is your UMB office phone, add your home phone as another option.

For more information on Duo - https://www.umaryland.edu/cits/services/duo/existing-user/.

March 18, 2020 Where can I find information regarding the use of the Blackboard Learning Management application for teaching and learning? CITS, Telework

For instructors and course builders - https://www.umaryland.edu/blackboard/instructors-and-course-builders/.

For students - https://www.umaryland.edu/blackboard/student-topics/.

For school-specific support - https://www.umaryland.edu/blackboard/school-specific-support/.

For Blackboard Collaborate - https://www.umaryland.edu/blackboard/collaborate/.

Visit the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning - https://www.umaryland.edu/fctl/.

March 18, 2020 If I have been designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus,” can I bring my child to work since schools are closed? Essential Employees, HR Policy

No. Visitors of employees (including children) are not allowed on campus.

Employees who have been designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” must make arrangements for childcare. If finding alternate childcare is not possible, you should contact Human Resources to ask about options for reassignment or leave.

March 18, 2020 If I have been assigned to telework, how do I fill out my time sheet? HR Policy, Telework

All employees (exempt and non-exempt) should enter their time and attendance in the normal fashion. For exempt employees, this involves entering “D” for duty days. For non-exempt employees, this involves entering the hours worked.

 Employees who have been assigned to telework and need time off for illness or personal reasons are required to enter their leave in accordance with standard leave policies. Absences which are related to COVID-19 (e.g., a parent who is unable to telework due to the need to care for a dependent child) are eligible for sick leave.

March 18, 2020 If I have been put on Administrative Leave, how should I fill out my time sheet? HR Policy, Self-Quarantine, Telework

Non-exempt employees whose job duties are not capable of being performed remotely and who are not designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” should use the hourly employee Administrative Leave code.

Exempt employees whose job duties are not capable of being performed remotely and who are not designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” should use the salary employee Administrative Leave code. New leave codes may be created. Employees should seek guidance from their supervisor or Payroll representative.

March 18, 2020 Can supplies purchased with a P-card be shipped directly to employees who are teleworking? Telework

Per the State of Maryland Corporate Purchasing Card Policy and Procedures Manual, services shall be performed and goods shall be received at a state agency address unless written prior approval is received. 

Joseph Evans, assistant vice president for strategic sourcing and acquisition services, has determined that it would be unrealistic to provide written prior approval for each individual request given the magnitude of staff teleworking, and has written the following: 

As the campus Procurement Card Program Administrator (PCPA), I am providing written prior approval to ship to a non-University address during the period we are in Step 2 of COVID-19. 

As the cardholder you are still responsible for obtaining and maintaining all required documentation associated with purchases you make with the Pcard regardless of the delivery location. It is recommended that if you do have to ship to a non-University address, that you place a copy of this email along with an explanation of the shipment with the transaction and your transaction log. 

This blanket approval will be rescinded when we are no longer in Step 2 of COVID-19.

March 18, 2020 If I have been designated as “Essential for Pandemic Purposes – On Campus” can my supervisor require me to come to work for only a few hours, but not a full shift or a full workweek? What types of compensation are available if this happens and I am a non-exempt employee? Essential Employees, HR Policy

An employee (exempt or non-exempt) who has been designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” may be required to come to work for part of a shift and required to go home for other parts of a shift. For example, an employee may have certain duties that are essential to business continuity and require on-campus presence but other duties that are non-essential or can be performed remotely. Supervisors should only require employees to be on campus for the hours necessary to accomplish these essential functions.

For all hours that a non-exempt employee with the designation of “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” is required to be on campus, they will be provided with their regular pay in addition to the choice of receiving an equivalent amount of compensatory time or a cash payment. Hours spent off campus should be designated as regular work hours if teleworking or as Administrative Leave for employees whose job duties are not capable of being performed remotely. 

Exempt employees should continue to use the designation of “D” for duty days or as Administrative Leave for employees whose job duties are not capable of being performed remotely.

March 18, 2020 What do I do while Maryland schools are closed and I need to take care of my kids? HR Policy, Telework

Employees are re-assigned to telework, and the normal restrictions related to telework are waived under the COVID-19 Telework Policy (e.g., related to the presence of children). If an employee can’t telework because they need to supervise a dependent child during a COVID-19-related school or daycare closure, they are permitted to use Sick Leave. 

This could mean an employee works for some hours of the day and uses sick leave for others. Adjusting daily schedules may also be an option for some employees (e.g., making up missed hours in the evenings or on weekends). Employees and supervisors are encouraged to be flexible.

March 25, 2020 Will commencement take place? Essential Employees, Social Distancing, Students

UMB has decided to suspend in-person commencement and school convocations. The University is actively exploring alternative and meaningful ways to recognize and celebrate our graduates and their families. These plans will be communicated as soon as practical.

We also hope to celebrate our graduating students in the fall during UMB's Founders Week.

March 16, 2020 Will Student Recruitment and Admissions continue? Essential Employees, Social Distancing, Students, Tele-education

Student recruiting and admissions in-person events are prohibited until further notice.

March 16, 2020 What is the COVID-19 Telework Policy? Essential Employees, HR Policy, Step One / Step Two, Tele-education, Telework

During Step 2, the UMB President has declared the transition to episodic telework. This means that all employees who are able to work remotely are reassigned to telework. Details of this policy are found here.

March 18, 2020 What are Steps One and Two of the UMB Policy Regarding COVID-19? HR Policy, Step One / Step Two

Step One is a series of recommendations and policies from UMB leadership regarding COVID -19. Step One has a set of less restrictive guidelines for students, faculty, and staff in relation to travel, gatherings, classes, and events, and Step Two has more restrictive guidelines and policies.

The UMB President and UMMS President have decided to move to Step 2.

March 18, 2020 What happens if I am a UMB employee and I am required to be away from work for a period of quarantine or other COVID-19 pandemic-related reasons but I do not have any available leave? HR Policy, Self-Quarantine, Sick Leave

UMB seeks to foster good public health practices, which include encouraging employees who are sick, or who are reasonably believed to have been exposed to a serious communicable disease, or who have traveled from an area with travel restrictions in place, to stay home.

Employees affected by COVID-19 related absences who cannot work remotely and who have exhausted all paid leave should contact Human Resources to discuss options.

UMB is working to minimize the financial impact of COVID-19 related absences on employees.

March 18, 2020 Can you please clarify if we are getting paid during the period of episodic telework? Essential Employees, HR Policy, Self-Quarantine, Sick Leave, Social Distancing, Telework

Yes, employees will be paid. UMB is working to minimize financial impact of COVID-19 related absences. Circumstances will dictate whether pay comes in the form of Regular work hours, Administrative Leave, or other forms of accrued leave.

During episodic telework, unless the employee has been designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus,” employees who are able to work from home are reassigned to work from home. These employees will receive their regular pay and they will enter their time in the normal fashion.  

During episodic telework, unless the employee has been designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus,” employees who are not able to work remotely as determined by their supervisor will be granted Administrative Leave and they will enter their time using designated Administrative Leave codes.

Information regarding employees who have been designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” are addressed in other Q&As.

During COVID-19 related school closings, self-quarantines, and illness, employees who cannot telework are authorized to use Sick Leave and other forms of accrued leave.

June 1, 2020 Will employees who are required to work during an Emergency Closure be entitled to additional compensation or leave? Essential Employees, HR Policy

UMB is not closed. UMB is utilizing a physical distancing strategy recommended by public health experts to dramatically reduce the number of people on campus, and thereby reduce the chance of spread. Thus, although working remotely, UMB is open and committed to fulfilling its important role in our community including education, research, and client/clinical services.

Exempt employees: Exempt employees have not been authorized to receive compensatory time for working on campus because their presence on campus is part of a physical distancing strategy – not a campus closure or unsafe worksite. UMB’s compensation of Exempt employees is consistent with USM guidance and the practice of other institutions across the system.

During this transitional and uncertain time, UMB is working to minimize the financial impact of COVID-19 related absences on our employees. Exempt employees are eligible for the various leave categories that have been made available by USM. For example, if an exempt employee needs to take leave in order to care for a dependent child during a COVID-19 related school closure, they will be eligible to use sick leave for that absence. Similarly USM has relaxed the requirements of certain leave categories. Exempt employees with questions about leave should contact Human Resources.

Non-exempt employees:  Pursuant to the COVID-19 Telework Policy (and consistent with USM guidance), during the period of episodic telework, for all hours that a non-exempt employee with the designation of “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” is required to be on campus, they will be provided with their regular pay in addition to the choice of receiving an equivalent amount of compensatory time or a cash payment.

This does not apply to University Police whose compensation addressed elsewhere.

March 25, 2020 How will police officers be compensated during the period of episodic telework? Essential Employees, HR Policy

Because UMB is open and the majority of employees are continuing to report for work, University Police will continue to report for duty and will receive their regular pay (including any applicable overtime or on-call pay) as spelled out in existing policies and applicable collective bargaining agreement.

During this transitional and uncertain time, UMB is working to minimize the financial impact of COVID-19-related absences on our employees. University Police are eligible for the various leave categories that have been made available by the University System of Maryland (USM). For example, if a police officer needs to take leave to care for a dependent child during a COVID-19-related school closure, they will be eligible to use sick leave for that absence. Similarly, USM has relaxed the requirements of certain leave categories. University Police with questions about leave should contact Human Resources.

June 1, 2020 Can students participate in any group, in-person activities with faculty as an alternative to my experiential/field learning activity? Social Distancing, Students

Group in-person activities with faculty for alternative experiences, inclusive of classroom simulations, formulary assessments, etc. are allowed if strict measures are taken to follow the six-foot physical distancing rule and documentation of that requirement is maintained. 

March 19, 2020 How will field placements that occur in social work and other similar programs be treated? Social Distancing, Students, Tele-education

For field placements that occur in social work and other similar programs, these experiences will be converted to remote activities. 

Options that include activities such as distance simulation, special online resources, and online activities such as telemedicine, telehealth and telebehavioral health and similar means of care delivery are encouraged.

June 1, 2020 What happens if I have unmet graduation requirements that are critical in order to graduate on time this year? Students, Tele-education

Innovative solutions should be sought to meet these needs. For example, clinical and field rotations for a small number of students that can be deemed extremely safe from COVID infection for students may be considered. These solutions must be approved by the dean of the relevant school in consultation with the provost. Careful records must be kept documenting the decision, the safety of the situation, and explicit measures taken to assure physical distancing.

March 25, 2020 Will students still have to pay University fees and housing fees if they are not allowed on campus? Housing, Students

Students living at Pascault Row or Fayette Square may receive a partial refund of their housing costs if they choose not to reside in those facilities for the remainder of the semester.

All UMB students are eligible for a partial refund of certain University fees, including the Campus Center Infrastructure and Service fee (URecFit portion), parking fee, UM shuttle fee, and the Student Government Association fee. Please be patient as UMB develops the best method through which to provide these refunds in compliance with state rules and processes.

March 20, 2020 With the campus library closed, will late fees for materials that can’t physical be returned be waived? Students, Tele-education

All fees and fines will be waived per an agreement with USM Library Consortium members.

March 25, 2020 Can employees who are designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” park in any garage during the period of episodic telework? Essential Employees, Telework

Parking and Transportation Services has relaxed parking restrictions in all University-operated garages. UMB essential employees can park in any open garage except Plaza Garage, which is reserved for patients, patient transporters, and assigned personnel.  

All parkers are required to use their parking credentials when entering and exiting the garages. 

Refer to www.umaryland.edu/parking/parking-at-umb/parking-garages/ for garage hours and information.

March 25, 2020 Can postgraduate fellows be designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus”? Essential Employees, Students

Yes. Postgraduate fellows are employees of the University and may be designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” (Level 1 Essential Employees). They should be included in the Principal Investigator's plan for maintaining laboratory function and resources, but they should not be unduly burdened with these responsibilities when compared to other employees in the laboratory.

June 1, 2020 Should shifts be adjusted for laboratory personnel? Essential Employees, Health, Social Distancing, Students

Personnel safety is of critical importance and it would therefore be best to perform needed laboratory tasks by creating a staggered schedule for staff to minimize the number of people in the laboratory workspace and maximize the degree of physical distancing.

May 13, 2020 Can Graduate Research Assistants be designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus”? Essential Employees, Research, Social Distancing, Students

No. Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) are students first and foremost. GRAs should not be designated as “Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus” (Level 1 Essential Employees) and every reasonable effort should be made to have them engage with and continue their research activities remotely. 

Exceptions: Although it is possible for a GRA to be granted access to the lab for an extraordinary and exceptional reason, the bar is very high. Any proposed request must be approved by the dean of the appropriate school and the UMB president.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

March 25, 2020 How will graduating students receive their diplomas if in-person commencement and school convocations are suspended? Social Distancing, Students, Tele-education

For students who are certified by their school/program as completing the requirements for May 2020 graduation and have completed the graduation application by the Feb. 10, 2020 deadline, their diploma will be mailed to them using the address listed on the application they completed via SURFS.  If your address has changed since Feb. 10, 2020, please email the office of the University registrar at registrar@umaryland.edu and include your name, student ID (@ number), and new address

May 13, 2020 Are there research restrictions in place? Essential Employees, Health, HR Policy, Research, Social Distancing

Currently, UMB is operating under Severe Research Restrictions. All basic and animal research experimentation requiring a physical presence at UMB has ceased and laboratories have moved to maintaining important instruments, animal colonies, cell lines, and similar resources.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 What are Severe Research Restrictions? Essential Employees, Health, HR Policy, Research, Social Distancing

It has become necessary to impose Severe Research Restrictions. All basic and animal research experimentation requiring a physical presence at UMB will cease and laboratories are moving to maintaining important instruments, animal colonies, cell lines, and similar resources. 

UMB has special programs in virology, immunology and related topics. UMB is committed to maintaining and strengthening those research programs critical to impacting the COVID-19 virus.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 Is UMB discontinuing research? Essential Employees, Health, HR Policy, Research, Social Distancing

No. UMB is prioritizing research activities that can be done remotely (data processing, proposals, publications, patents, reviews, research group meetings, administrative meetings, etc.) in the interest of safety.  

UMB has special programs in virology, immunology and related topics. UMB is committed to maintaining and strengthening those research programs critical to impacting the COVID-19 virus.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 Where can I find specific guidance related to research? Essential Employees, HR Policy, Research, Social Distancing
  • For animal research: See guidance here.
  • For clinical research: See guidance here.
  • For teleworking using laboratory electronic data: See guidance here.
  • For laboratory compliance with regulations and policies: See guidance here.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

March 25, 2020 Is the UM shuttle operational? Essential Employees, Students, Travel

Due to COVID-19, the UM shuttle will suspend all routes effective March 26, 2020, until further notice.

March 25, 2020 Will UMB parking garages remain open during episodic telework? Essential Employees, Telework

Due to the limited number of essential employees coming to campus during episodic telework, UMB has decided to close down certain garages. 

The following garages and lots will be closed beginning Wednesday, March 25, until further notice. 

  • Saratoga Garage
  • Pearl Garage
  • Administrative Lot
  • Lexington Rooftop

You may park in the Pratt, Grand, or Lexington Street garages.

All parkers are required to use their parking credentials when entering and exiting the garages. Refer to umaryland.edu/parking/parking-at-umb/parking-garages/ for garage hours and information.

If garage operations change or additional closures take place, you will be notified accordingly.
Please contact parkingcashier@umaryland.edu with any questions or concerns.

March 26, 2020 What campus resources are available for helping me reach my destination safely? Essential Employees, Students, Travel

During this time, individuals are encouraged to use the Safe Walk program.

Safe Walk continues to be available within UMB’s campus by calling 410-706-6882 (6-6882 from a campus phone). UMB students, staff, faculty, and University of Maryland Medical Center personnel can request a Safe Walk 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Effective Friday, March 27, our Safe Ride service is suspended for the safety of our officers and our community. We will evaluate Safe Ride requests on a case-by-case basis for exceptional circumstances. Please note, for the safety of our officers and our community, police and security officers will need to wear gloves and masks for any Safe Ride that is deemed essential.

May 13, 2020 Where can I find the NIH guidance for clinical trials and human subjects studies? Research

Guidance for NIH-funded clinical trials and human subjects studies affected by COVID-19 (NOT-OD-20-087) can be found here.

Flexibilities available to applicants and recipients of federal financial assistance affected by COVID-19 (NOT-OD-20-086) can be found here.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 Where can I find the FDA guidance for clinical trials and human subjects studies? Research

COVID-19 Update: FDA Issues Guidance for Conducting Clinical Trials can be found and read here.

FDA Guidance on Conduct of Clinical Trials of Medical Products during COVID-19 Pandemic can be found here.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 What activities are not considered 'research' as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services? Research

Public health surveillance activities conducted by a public health authority, limited to those necessary to allow a public health authority to identify, monitor, assess, or investigate potential public health signals, onsets of disease outbreaks, or conditions of public health importance.

  • Including the collection and testing of information or biospecimens, conducted, supported, requested, ordered, required, or authorized by a public health authority.
  • Including trends, signals, risk factors, patterns in diseases, or increases in injuries from using consumer products.
  • Including those associated with providing timely situational awareness and priority setting during the course of an event or crisis that threatens public health (including natural or man-made disasters).

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 What general considerations for informed consent should be considered? Research

The elements of informed consent, including discussion of the risks and benefits, can be conducted over the phone.

Time for questions needs to be provided and can likewise be done over the phone.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 Is remote consenting for human subject research allowed? Research

Yes, human subject consent may be obtained by telephone if research team members:

  • Document how the consent form was transmitted to the participant (by email, fax, mail, etc.)
  • Document how the signature was obtained — for example, by documenting whether it was:
    • an electronic signature
    • faxed or scanned and emailed, or mailed back to the study team by post
    • a photograph of the signature on the signature page(s), sent back to the study team
  • For FDA-regulated research, the witness should also date the form.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 What do I need to document if I can’t obtain a participant signature on an informed consent document? Research

The following items must be documented in lieu of a participant's signature on an informed consent document:

  • The method used for communication with the participant
  • The means by which the agreement was communicated
  • Documentation to prove that no imaging technology was available to capture a signed consent form
  • A designated witness to the process (for more than minimal risk research)
  • A witness signature
  • For FDA-regulated research, the witness should also date the form.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 Is a request for research subjects to not sign a consent form considered a waiver of documentation? Research

No. Please rely on the FDA guidance below:

July 2014 FDA guidance on informed consent states:

Physically Challenged Subjects

A person who is physically challenged (for example, physically unable to talk or write or has hearing or visual loss) can enroll in a clinical investigation if competent and able to signal consent when consistent with applicable state law. The records relating to the clinical investigation must include documentation of the informed consent process (21 CFR 50.27) unless excepted under 21 CFR 56.109(c). FDA recommends that the subject’s case history include a description of the specific means by which the prospective subject communicated agreement to take part in the clinical investigation and how questions were answered. FDA recommends that investigators accommodate the specific needs of the study population.

For example, the investigator could use an audio tape of the contents of the consent form or a form with enlarged font, depending on the level of impairment of the visually impaired subjects.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 How do I obtain consent from COVID-19 patients in a containment unit or quarantined space, or a physically unavailable LAR? Research

You may do any of the following in order to obtain consent in the described scenario:

  • Have the informed consent form provided to the participant in the containment unit or quarantined space; or,
  • Provide an electronic version of the consent form to the participant via a tablet, computer, or other electronic device; or,
  • Provide an audio recording of the informed consent; or,
  • Read the entire consent agreement over the phone is an option, but only if no other option listed above is available.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 How do I conduct the process of informed consent with research subjects or LARs? Research

The consent form should be reviewed and discussed with the patient and all questions should be answered.

The clinical team may conduct the research consenting process if it is documented that they were educated in what the research involves so that they can knowledgeably affirm someone's consent to the research.

If the patient agrees to participate, the consent form should be signed.

Once the participant signs the consent form it can be uploaded, if possible, to a system such as REDCap, or a picture can be taken of it, sent to the study team, and then the form discarded.

If it is not possible to obtain a digital image of the signed page, the study team should:

  • Document that an imaging device was not available, and
  • Have a witness to the consent process.

The entire process must be documented in the study records.

Note: Having a witness to any of the consent processes under these circumstances would be a best practice.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

May 13, 2020 Do I need to get re-consent from research subjects about any research changes? Research

Re-consent is not necessary, unless the changes to the research are such that the original consent is no longer valid.

For example, re-consent is not necessary when changing from clinic visits to remote visits.

Subjects should be notified of changes to the research via a letter or other form of communication.

This does not need to be reported to the IRB, unless the changes increase the risk of harm to research subjects.

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

March 30, 2020 Are telemedicine activities compliant with HIPAA? Research

Yes. Telemedicine is an acceptable option where it can adequately replace an in-person physical examination.

For the purpose of HIPAA, HHS has issued a notice waiving penalties for non-compliance with HIPAA. OCR will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under HIPAA. Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. This notification is effective immediately.

  • Read the full announcement here.
March 30, 2020 What about HIPAA compliance and covered entities? Research

OCR has published a bulletin advising covered entities of further flexibilities available to them as well as obligations that remain in effect under HIPAA as they respond to crises or emergencies here.

May 13, 2020 Whom should I contact if I have additional questions or want more information about human subjects research? Research

Questions or concerns regarding human subjects research may be addressed to the following individuals at UMB:

More guidance about COVID-19 Research Involving Humans is available on the Human Research Protections website.

April 2, 2020 Where can I volunteer? Volunteer

Individuals wishing to volunteer can go here: https://mdresponds.health.maryland.gov/

June 1, 2020 I’m a faculty member. Can I organize my students to volunteer in field placements? Volunteer

UMB is not organizing or orchestrating any on-site student volunteer activities. UMB is also not advocating for use of students as volunteers in the hospital setting. UMB faculty should not solicit or coordinate their students for use as volunteers for on-site activities. This does not prohibit students from volunteering.

If a student wishes to volunteer, this is the website: https://mdresponds.health.maryland.gov/

Exceptions to this policy: Where a faculty member wishes to offer on-site learning opportunities to students related to COVID-19 response activities, the request should be evaluated in a manner that is generally consistent with Interim President Jarrell’s March 19, 2020 communication detailing UMB’s Clinical Placement Guidelines and March 20, 2020 communication Clarifying Guidelines for Laboratory Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows. In other words, certain on-site learning opportunities might be approved, not as organized volunteer efforts, but as limited exceptions to those policies. Exceptions will not be considered unless the activity can be deemed extremely safe from novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Careful records must be kept documenting the decision, the safety of the situation, and explicit measures taken to assure physical distancing. Questions about this policy should be directed to the Provost.

May 8, 2020 What if a contractor working at UMB tests positive for COVID-19?

If you become aware that a contractor at UMB has tested positive for COVID-19, please notify Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). EHS will work with Occupational & Environmental Medicine to investigate the report and make recommendations about needed action or notifications.

To notify EHS of a contractor concern related to COVID-19, please fill out the following form: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/377e975f8c434b8abf573e0ef07fe904