Return to Campus Guide

UMB Together: Safely masked students, faculty, and researchers working on campus

UMB is taking actions in light of COVID-19 with the goal of providing a safe working and learning environment for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

COVID-19 Isolation/Quarantine Protocols

Updated June 17, 2022

In the event of COVID-19 illness or exposure, report your case and check quarantine guidance here.

Read more at https://www.umaryland.edu/coronavirus/hotline/guide.

UMB Policy Requiring Use of Face Coverings

Updated March 25, 2022

Effective March 3, 2022

Supersedes: UMB Guidance of Feb. 4, 2022 Regarding Cloth Face Coverings

(Para leer esta política en español, haga clic aquí Politica de la UMB sobre el uso obligatorio de mascarilla para COVID-19)

SCOPE: This policy applies to students, faculty and staff, campus visitors, volunteers, clients and patients, and campus contractors and their employees. Students, faculty, and staff must follow respiratory protection requirements as part of the personal protective equipment requirements for their position or educational activity. This policy does not apply to patients who are subject to other policies related masking.   

The policy applies to the UMB campus to include property owned, leased, or operated by UMB and buses or shuttles operated by UMB.  Students, faculty, and staff must follow the masking requirements for off-site campus locations such as Shady Grove, Columbus Center, etc.

POLICY: Regardless of vaccination status, masks are only required for people 2 years or older in the following locations:

  • Patient care and clinical areas to include patient waiting areas
  • In-person healthcare simulation labs — face shields/eye protection are not required in health care simulation labs for protection against COVID-19. However, face shields/eye protection may be required to simulate real-world conditions or for other educational purposes. Each school dean or designee will determine what is appropriate for their particular school and programs within that school.
  • UMB public transportation (UMB shuttle or safe ride)

Schools, units, supervisors, and/or faculty cannot mandate masking for COVID-19 in locations not covered under this policy. 

PERMITTED MASKS:

  • Medical-grade, KN95 or equivalent mask where masking is required. Cloth masks, bandanas, gaiters, scarves, and masks with valves are not permitted at UMB.

When a mask is required, it must be worn in a manner that fully covers a person’s nose and mouth.

UMB continues to support students, faculty, and staff that choose to voluntarily wear a mask on campus.

UMB strongly encourages unvaccinated people or people who are not up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccine to (1) get their primary vaccine series and recommended booster vaccine and (2) to wear a KN95 or equivalent mask when interacting with people indoors until they are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccine.

NON-COMPLIANCE: Persons who do not comply with this Policy may be asked to leave the campus. Employees and students who are non-compliant will receive warnings, reprimands, or other appropriate discipline. Supervisors and academic administrators are responsible for monitoring compliance, encouraging responsible use of face coverings, and administering disciplinary sanctions. Reports of uncooperative individuals can be directed to Environmental Health and Safety via this form.

UMB recognizes that some persons may not be able to safely wear a face covering. Reasonable accommodations may be available for individuals with a disability. Individuals seeking an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact:

Students: Educational Support and Disability Services

disabilityservices@umaryland.edu

Faculty and staff: Human Resource Services

HRELR@umaryland.edu

Any person given an accommodation will receive a written notice of the details of the accommodation (e.g., face shield or other alternative safety measures) that should be carried when on campus without wearing a face covering. Neither the ADA nor Maryland law provides a blanket exemption to allow people with disabilities to avoid complying with legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operations.

FAQ

What is the difference between surgical/medical masks and KN95 or equivalent masks?

Students, faculty, and staff may wear medical-grade masks or KN95s or equivalent masks in areas where universal masking is required. All these masks reduce the spread of the virus from the person wearing a mask. However, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study (2022) found that consistently wearing a N95 or KN95 mask in indoor public settings reduced the odds of getting COVID-19 by 83 percent. The study included settings where the person interacted with others who were NOT wearing a mask. The study found that medical-grade (surgical) masks also reduce the odds of getting COVID-19, but at a lower level (66 percent).

Therefore, a person should consider their personal health and circumstances along with the different protection levels each mask offers when selecting whether to wear surgical/medical masks or KN95s or equivalent masks where universal masking is required.

UMB COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols

Updated March 09, 2022

COVID-19 Vaccination Protocol: UMB Students

1. EXPECTATION AND EFFECTIVE DATE: All on-campus University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) students [1] are required to be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 prior to engaging in any in-person activities. Students will be considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after receiving a one-dose vaccine.

2. EXEMPTIONS: A student may be exempted from the Vaccination Protocol if: 1) the student submits documentation from the student’s health care provider indicating that the student is medically unable to be vaccinated; or 2) the student has a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that does not allow for the student to be vaccinated. Students receiving an exemption from the Vaccination Protocol will be required to follow safety requirements for nonvaccinated individuals as set forth by University Health and consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Failure to follow safety requirements set forth for nonvaccinated individuals (medical, religious, or otherwise) will subject a student to disciplinary action.

With respect specifically to religious exemptions, a religious exemption request must be written and signed by the student on a form supplied by UMB and must state that the student objects to immunization due to a “sincerely held religious belief.” The statement must address the following:

  • The student must explain in their own words why they are requesting this religious exemption; and
  • The student must indicate whether they are opposed to all immunizations, and if not, the religious belief that prohibits COVID-19 immunizations.

Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to immunization do not justify an exemption. Students may be required to provide additional information regarding their exemption eligibility if requested by UMB.

3. EXEMPTION PROCESS: UMB has a Vaccine Exemption Process by which students may submit requests electronically through a secure, online portal.

4. PROOF OF VACCINATION: Students have the option to either: 1) sign a waiver so that UMB receives confirmation of vaccination directly from the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), which is the repository of vaccination information for the state of Maryland, for vaccinations received in Maryland; or 2) upload a copy of their CDC-approved vaccine card. Proof of being fully vaccinated must be provided 14 days prior to the first day of classes.

5. CONSEQUENCES: The consequences for a student not being vaccinated without having an approved medical/religious exemption are as follows:

a. No student is permitted to come onto UMB’s campus unless they are fully vaccinated or have received an approved exemption. Noncompliant students should talk to their Student Affairs Dean or Admissions Department about a leave of absence or enrollment options if the student fails to meet these requirements. (NOTE: Students will not be provided an online curriculum where one is not already offered.)

 • Consistent with other immunization requirements, failure to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination will result in a registration hold being placed on the student’s account.

b. Any student who has not provided proof of vaccination by the deadline in Paragraph 4 will be contacted by their Student Affairs Dean.

• The Student Affairs Dean will consider whether special circumstances exist that prevented the student from receiving the vaccine or filing an exemption by the timeline set forth above (e.g., insufficient time between the date of admission and the start date of classes; lack of access to vaccine; international students whose travel to the United States was delayed).

• Failing to file a timely application for a medical or religious exemption, on its own, is not a specific circumstance warranting particular review.

• Where extraordinary circumstances exist, as determined by the relevant Student Affairs Dean in consultation with the relevant Dean and the Provost’s Office, the student will be granted an extension of time to become vaccinated or receive an approved medical/religious exemption.

c. Students who are not yet fully vaccinated are required to follow safety requirements for nonvaccinated individuals as set forth by University Health (consistent with CDC and OSHA guidelines). Failure to follow safety requirements set forth for nonvaccinated individuals will subject a student to disciplinary action.

[1] An on-campus student includes any student whose courses or student-related activities are performed in whole or in part on the UMB campus, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Donaldson Brown Riverfront Event Center, Columbus Center, UM BioPark, and other Maryland satellite offices. This also includes UMB students who attend the Universities at Shady Grove. Students engaged in clinical or field site activities should note that external sites may have stricter vaccine rules than UMB. Being unvaccinated may impact the ability of a student to participate in activities at those external sites. Failure to complete the clinical or experiential portion of a student’s education requirements will impact their ability to graduate.

COVID-19 Vaccination Protocol: UMB Faculty and Staff

1. VACCINE MANDATE: All University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) employees [1] are expected to be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, effective Aug. 16, 2021. Employees will be considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after receiving a one-dose vaccine.

2. EXEMPTIONS: An employee may be exempted from the Vaccination Protocol if: 1) the employee submits documentation from the employee’s health care provider indicating that the employee is medically unable to be vaccinated or 2) the employee has a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that does not allow for the employee to be vaccinated. Employees receiving an exemption from the Vaccination Protocol will be required to follow safety requirements for nonvaccinated individuals as set forth by University Health consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Failure to follow safety requirements set forth for nonvaccinated individuals (medical, religious, or otherwise) will subject an employee to appropriate discipline.

With respect specifically to religious exemptions, a religious exemption request must be written and signed by the employee on a form supplied by UMB and must state that the employee objects to immunization due to a “sincerely held religious belief.” The statement must address the following:

• The employee must explain in their own words why they are requesting this religious exemption; and

• The employee must indicate whether they are opposed to all immunizations, and if not, the religious belief that prohibits COVID-19 immunizations.

Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to immunization do not justify an exemption. Employees may be required to provide additional information regarding their exemption eligibility if requested by UMB.

3. EXEMPTION PROCESS: UMB has a Vaccine Exemption Process by which employees may submit requests electronically through a secure and confidential online portal. Human Resource Services (HRS) will assist employees who are not able to use the electronic process.

4. PROOF OF VACCINATION: Employees have the option to either: 1) sign a waiver so that UMB receives confirmation of vaccination directly from the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), which is the repository of vaccination information for the state of Maryland, for individuals vaccinated in Maryland; or 2) upload a copy of their CDC-approved vaccine card. HRS will assist any employees who request assistance to upload the vaccine card. Proof of vaccination will be kept separate from employee personnel files and shared only with individuals with a legitimate need-to-know and permitted by law.

5. CONSEQUENCES: For employees hired before August 16, 2021: The consequences for not being vaccinated without having an approved medical/religious exemption are as follows:

a. Such employee will be required to follow safety requirements for nonvaccinated individuals as set forth by University Health (consistent with CDC and OSHA guidelines). Failure to follow safety requirements set forth for nonvaccinated individuals will subject an employee to appropriate discipline.

b. Such employee will be given a document detailing the risks to themselves and others of not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

c. Such employee will be required to participate in an educational program discussing the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccinations and the risk of not being vaccinated.

d. Written reprimand for failure to follow this COVID-19 Vaccination Protocol will be placed in the employee’s personnel file (but will be expunged and not used in any further/progressive discipline upon proof of vaccination).

e. Such staff employee will receive a “Below Standards” rating on the Safety section of next year’s Performance Development Program (PDP) evaluation (but can be avoided upon proof of vaccination). Such faculty employee will receive a “Below Standards” notation in a safety category of the faculty member’s comparable annual review (but can be avoided upon proof of vaccination).

f. Such employee may not be approved for the discretionary programs of telework and will not be approved for University-sponsored travel including grant-funded travel (but both may be approved upon proof of vaccination).

NOTE: With the exception of (a), the above consequences will not apply to an employee who has received an exemption to the Vaccination Protocol.

For employees hired after August 16, 2021: All employees must be fully vaccinated (or have been granted a medical/religious exemption) on Day 1 of employment, but a dean or vice president can grant an extension of the Day 1 deadline for good cause, provided that the employee has at least their first shot on Day 1. Failure to become fully vaccinated (or have been granted a medical/religious exemption) will result in separation from employment.

[1] This mandate applies to any employee whose job is performed in whole or in part on the UMB campus, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Donaldson Brown Riverfront Event Center, Columbus Center, UM BioPark, and other Maryland satellite offices. This also includes UMB employees whose jobs are performed at the Universities at Shady Grove.

 

COVID-19 Report Form

Posted January 07, 2022

The COVID-19 Report Form is a UMB COVID-19 Hotline alternative to report a positive test and receive guidance on care, isolation and return-to-work/school protocol. If you have not already reported via the hotline or employee health, please use this form to report: • A new positive COVID-19 test in yourself. • Symptoms that may be due to COVID-19, including new scratchy throat. • Close contact with someone with COVID-19. This is also called a high-risk exposure.

Read more at https://safe.umaryland.edu/surveys/?s=TEPTH3PTX4.

UMB Policy on Telework

Posted July 07, 2021

Revised and approved May 28, 2021 to become effective Aug. 15, 2021. Read More

Know Before You Go

COVID-19 Vaccine

The University System of Maryland (USM) has mandated that all eligible faculty, students, and staff who will be on campus in fall 2021 must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Face Coverings

To avoid any confusion about the rules for wearing face coverings on campus, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) prepared this guide.

Testing, Hygiene, and Health

Information about COVID-19 testing requirements, campus cleaning and hygiene, and other health-related matters.

COVID-19 Signage Toolbox

Provides printable signage options to give visual cues about new COVID-19-related behavioral guidelines and expectations for the UMB community.

COVID-19 Management Portal

Approve or deny COVID-19 health information sharing through CRISP; upload COVID-19 vaccination documentation if not using CRISP; schedule vaccination appointment at UMB Vaccination Clinic; and request vaccination exemption

Latest Guidance

Letter: COVID-19 Hotline and Health Update from UMB's Public Health Officer

Posted May 25, 2022

First and most importantly, the COVID-19 situation has reached a point of stability where we think that we can rely on our own resources and discontinue the external UMB COVID-19 Hotline. As of June 1, callers will reach a recording directing them to report their problem and obtain guidance about isolation, quarantine, return to campus, and testing from the UMB COVID-19 report form at umaryland.edu/reportcovid. Please contact your own doctor for help with clinical issues. Read more.

Should You Get a (or Another) Booster?

Posted May 25, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults get the primary COVID-19 vaccine series, plus one booster at least six months after the first series. Read more.

Where Do I Find the Lot Entry on My Vaccination Card?

Posted May 25, 2022

The Center for Information Technology Services have modified the COVID-19 vaccine portal to allow collection of vaccine lot number information, which is needed by clinical practice sites attended by many members of our community, especially clinical students. Read more.

Additional UMB Travel Guidance

Updated April 21, 2022

UMB continues to strongly advise people to refrain from non-essential travel. Read more.

Letter: Strongly Encouraging Wearing a Mask Indoors

Posted April 20, 2022

At this time, the University is strongly encouraging you to wear a face covering indoors while in close proximity to others at UMB, and please consider doing the same while in the community. It is your personal responsibility to choose your level of protection in areas where masks are not required. Read more.

Letter: Taking Precautions Amid Increased COVID-19 Cases

Posted April 13, 2022

COVID-19 infections and exposure reports have risen at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) over the last month. We expected some increase when we loosened our protective measures, but the BA.2 variant is contributing to a more rapid spread. Read more.

Letter: Changes to Mask Policy at UMB

Posted March 02, 2022

I’m very excited to share that Baltimore City is at the low COVID-19 community level according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) new community level guidance. COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to drop across the United States and Maryland. In fact, Maryland has one of the lowest COVID-19 case rates in the country, and Mayor Brandon Scott removed the city of Baltimore’s indoor mask mandate as of March 1. We expect our partners at the University of Maryl Read more.

USM Statement on the Adjustment of COVID Mitigation Strategies

Posted February 14, 2022

As the Omicron surge subsides and Maryland exits its state of emergency, our USM institutions are determining modifications to their COVID-19 protocols, including masking requirements on campus Read more.

Letter: Commencement 2022

Posted February 08, 2022

It is also with great pleasure that I announce that our keynote speaker will be Anthony S. Fauci, MD. Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to the president of the United States. Read more.

Letter: COVID-19 Hotline Update from UMB's Public Health Officer

Posted January 11, 2022

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) COVID-19 Hotline has a new tool to help provide immediate guidance on COVID-19 positive tests, symptoms, and high-risk exposures to others infected with the virus. The COVID-19 Report Form is a way for any UMB student, faculty or staff member, or Faculty Physicians, Inc. (FPI) employee to self-submit this information in lieu of calling the hotline. Read more.

International Students and Scholars Return to Campus Guidance

Updated December 22, 2021

A summary of FAQs and other information for international scholars and students at UMB. Read more.

How does the UMB mandate affect participating in clinical programs?

Posted July 26, 2021

There are separate requirements for UMB and the health care organizations where clinical learning experiences take place. Meeting UMB’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements, which include evidence of vaccination or medical or religious exemptions does not guarantee a student a clinical placement. Students in clinical experiences are advised to upload proof of meeting the vaccination mandate (including UMB-allowed exemptions) by Aug. 2. Read more.

New Guidance on Research Activities Effective June 21, 2021

Updated July 01, 2021

We are pleased to announce the following updates regarding research operations effective Monday, June 21, 2021: Read more.

UMB COVID-19 Management Portal

Posted May 18, 2021

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Recovery Task Force has introduced a new one-stop online shop for submitting COVID-19 information including vaccination information, vaccination scheduling, vaccination exemption, and CRISP authorization. Read more.

Who is able to see my request for a medical or religious exemption from a COVID-19 vaccine?

Posted May 14, 2021

Requests for exemptions and any documents provided will be kept confidential and shared only with those university employees who have a need to know. Read more.

What restrictions are in place for domestic out-of-state travel?

Updated May 13, 2021

On June 1, 2021, UMB will permit the resumption of domestic business travel. UMB travelers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in accordance with USM’s vaccination policy and follow current CDC domestic travel guidance. Currently this requires fully vaccinated (for COVID-19) domestic travelers self-monitor for symptoms, wear a mask, and take other COVID-19 safety precautions when traveling domestically. Read more.

Lyft On-Demand Shuttle and Lyft Ride Smart at UMB

Posted May 06, 2021

Lyft On-Demand Shuttle and Lyft Ride Smart at UMB are available to all current UMB students, faculty, and staff through July 30. You must opt-in to participate. Read more.

Personal Protective Equipment

Posted May 06, 2021

Employees may be required to wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, or respiratory protection due to the nature of their work. Read more.

USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman Issues COVID Vaccination Mandate for USM Students, Faculty, and Staff

Posted April 23, 2021

For this reason, I’m requiring that all eligible students, faculty, and staff who will be on our Maryland campuses this fall be vaccinated against COVID. Of course, we’ll comply with all federal and state laws in granting appropriate exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Read more.

Does the disinfectant used by EVS custodians have to sit (dwell) on a surface to be effective?

Posted April 08, 2021

The recommended dwell time for disinfectant used by EVS is under five minutes. EVS asks for your patience and understanding when restrooms and other areas are closed for cleaning. Read more.

Letter: UMB Safe Ride Is Back in Service on March 1

Posted February 25, 2021

Therefore, I am proud to announce that we are relaunching our Safe Ride program March 1, with your health and safety as my top priority. Read more.

How to Use Point-of-Use Cleaning Kits

Posted September 02, 2020

Following these steps will help create a safe, healthy, and efficient way to clean surfaces on campus. Keep in mind to clean areas and surfaces before use. Read more.

Why shouldn’t I bring my own cleaning products to use on campus?

Posted September 02, 2020

It is recommended that you do not bring your own cleaning products to campus. Read more.

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Posted June 12, 2020

Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. Read more.

How Buildings Are Cleaned and Disinfected

Posted June 12, 2020

In addition to routine custodial cleaning, the University has implemented an enhanced cleaning protocol and frequency to clean and disinfect common areas and commonly touched surfaces in occupied buildings. Read more.

Researchers Safety Plan

Posted June 12, 2020

All researchers should review the COVID-19 Research Safety Plan which provides safety practices for conducting research during restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

Enhanced Hygiene

Posted June 12, 2020

Guidelines for enhanced personal hygiene on campus Read more.