Letters to the UMB Community

Coronavirus Concerns

Dear Colleagues:

Federal, state, and local health officials are closely monitoring an outbreak first identified in China caused by a new specific strain of coronavirus, called 2019-nCoV. This virus is spreading quickly across areas of China, with a few cases identified in neighboring countries and one case in Washington State. There are currently no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV on the east coast. 

Coronaviruses cause respiratory illness and trigger flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, etc.). The 2019-nCoV has been associated with severe infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers this to be a serious public health concern, based on current information, the immediate health risk to the UMB community is­­ considered to be low.

Despite the low health risk, we are providing the following information from the CDC to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

If you have traveled to China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical care right away from a healthcare provider or UMaryland Immediate Care, located at 408 W. Lombard St. Call ahead to let the healthcare provider know your symptoms and recent travel history. The UMaryland Immediate Care phone number is 667-214-1899.  Please avoid contact with others until you have been evaluated by a healthcare provider.

If you visited China prior to Dec. 1, 2019, there is no risk that you have been exposed to this strain of coronavirus. 

Meanwhile, there is widespread influenza activity in the region. Getting a flu shot is the most effective way to prevent the spread of flu. You can prevent the spread of many illnesses by covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, washing your hands often, and staying home when you feel sick.


Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS

Interim President, University of Maryland, Baltimore

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