Letters to the UMB Community

Continuing to Fight COVID-19: Safety Measures at UMB

September 02, 2021

Dear UMB Community,

My priority is to keep the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) community healthy and safe. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UMB has focused on ways to combat the virus. As the Delta variant continues to spread, I wanted to reiterate the public health measures in place at UMB as guided by the Crisis Management Advisory Group and the Recovery Task Force working groups.

All on-campus UMB students, faculty, and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with limited exemptions for medical or religious reasons. This system-level COVID-19 vaccination mandate is one of the most important measures we have to fight the virus. The majority of those hospitalized or who die from COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

UMB is home to extensive professional expertise guiding the University’s response, as well as the state and national response to the pandemic. For over a year, public health and infectious disease experts on the Recovery Task Force have offered us guidance on how we can continue our mission safely.

Most recently, we returned to the face covering/mask requirement that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face covering/mask indoors. Wearing masks significantly reduces the spread of COVID-19.

The UMB COVID-19 Hotline (1-800-701-9863) has helped stop the spread of COVID-19 on campus throughout the pandemic — and continues to be available. Students and employees: Please call the hotline if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to the virus, or have a diagnosis of COVID-19. This allows us to help those impacted as well as trace any transmission on campus. The COVID-19 Hotline includes access to nurse case managers and is supported by a team of infectious disease professionals, overseen by a physician from our occupational and environmental division.

Also, UMB is unveiling a mandatory online training module titled “COVID-19 2021 Update: Protecting Yourself and Others” for all employees and students. This short module provides an overview of COVID-19 at UMB, implications of the Delta variant at UMB, details regarding the COVID-19 Hotline, and additional information to protect yourself and others. Please look out for additional details about this training.

In addition, we have a Risk Assessment Tool for UMB that looks at indicators such as city/state restrictions, hospital/health care capacity, vaccine availability and uptake, and significant operational impacts (such as area schools being open). If our metrics indicate the need for further action, UMB will not hesitate to take it.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the public health situation could change. UMB consistently and honestly assesses the situation, and we remain flexible to make changes as needed. Given the recent uptick in statewide COVID-19 cases, we will provide an update next week. Thank you in advance for doing what you can to keep yourself and others healthy, including getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu, wearing your face covering, washing your hands, and not coming to campus if sick.

Using the best public health guidance, taking collective and individual action, I know that together we can remain vigilant while striving to meet UMB’s mission to improve the human condition.


Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS


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