First COVID-19 Case Among UMB Community

March 21, 2020    |  





March 21, 2020   
Dear Colleagues:
I must share with you today the unwelcome, but not unexpected, news that a member of the University of Maryland, Baltimore community has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Strict privacy rules prevent me from providing more information about this person or their condition, but rest assured that everything is being done to minimize the risk to others.

At this time we are working to locate others with whom they may have been in close contact, and all areas where this person recently frequented are being thoroughly cleaned. We have also been in touch with public health authorities and are working proactively to assist them. 

I urge you to continue to observe safe practices at work and at home, if you are teleworking:
  • Stay home if you feel sick with fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Do not return to work until at least five days from the onset of symptoms and only after you have been symptom-free for 24 hours.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the tissue after you use it. If you don't 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 aren't available, alcohol-based hand cleaners with at least 60 percent alcohol are also effective.
  • Avoid shaking hands with others and practice social distancing where you can.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
We are all facing new and often unprecedented situations, seemingly every day. That's why I am so proud to be a part of this University, this community. Because even as we confront new challenges and new concerns, we continue to advance our mission to improve the human condition and serve the public good of Maryland and society at-large through education, research, clinical care, and service. 
Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS
Interim President