SAFE on Campus Symptom Monitoring

August 10, 2020

Dear UMB Community:

University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Jay A. Perman, MD, recently announced that all students, faculty, and staff of USM universities and regional centers will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test before returning to their campuses. I support this decision, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is taking additional steps to protect our community.

In addition to last week’s updated Face Covering Policy that is in place, all UMB students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete a daily self-screening of symptoms and other risk factors using the UMB Symptom Assessment For Employees (and Students) on Campus (SAFE on Campus).

Along with the need for face coverings and physical distancing, SAFE on Campus is another public health tool that helps us stay safe. Our priority is the health and safety of the UMB community, and we want to do everything possible to create a low-risk COVID-19 transmission environment. We’ve successfully implemented SAFE on Campus with over 1,300 enrollees and are glad to be able to expand it.

This week, you will receive an email in your UMB inbox from the address safe-no-reply@umaryland.edu with a link to register for the SAFE on Campus program. Employees and students who previously registered with SAFE during the pilot phase must register again. The SAFE on Campus program will apply to all students, faculty, and staff, whether working or assigned to the main UMB campus or to other locations in Baltimore, the state of Maryland, or elsewhere in the United States as part of UMB employment or academic responsibilities. The word "campus" should not be interpreted to mean only the buildings on the main campus in Baltimore.

The form will require the name of your supervisor if you are an employee. For students, individual schools will provide you with a student school contact to list in SAFE, and you will be able to add a supervisor if you work on campus.

Anyone who is teleworking or learning remotely will need to register but can “pause” the email reminders with approval from your supervisor until you return to campus for any reason.

Once you are registered, you will receive a COVID-19 Symptom Screening Form at 4 a.m. every day. You will receive another reminder if you have not completed it by 9 a.m. You can ignore the email on weekends if you do not come to campus then, and can put the email on hold for vacations or other planned absences. If you will not be on campus or participating in any co-curricular experiences, the form ends with that answer, and you will receive an email response confirming that you are not coming to campus.

If you are coming to campus, you should fill out any symptoms you may be experiencing that are related to COVID-19. The screening program is designed to identify new symptoms that may represent COVID-19, and those completing the form should not document chronic symptoms or recurrent symptoms related to other diagnosed medical conditions. It can be hard to tell the difference between seasonal allergy symptoms and COVID-19, so if you're not sure, report the symptoms and talk it over with one of the experienced clinicians supporting this program.

The form will also ask if you have come into close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past two weeks, whether you have traveled out of state, and whether you are currently expected to quarantine or isolate yourself. Once you have completed and submitted the form, the system will send you an email response that tells you whether you are cleared to come to campus, or you should not come to campus but instead call UMB’s COVID-19 hotline. The system will copy your supervisor or school student contact; UMB Occupational Health or Student Health will also be notified if you reported symptoms. The specific symptoms reported will be treated as personal health information and will not be shared with your supervisor whether you are an employee or student.

When you call the COVID-19 hotline (1-800-701-9863), an operator will take your information, and a nurse case manager will return your call, usually within one to two hours during business hours (it can take longer on nights and weekends). The case manager will make recommendations about whether you can come to campus or whether you need to quarantine and can also provide information on testing, isolation, and when you can return to the University.

If you need to be tested, here are ways you can schedule or find the location of COVID-19 testing sites. You can find out more about SAFE on Campus here.

I appreciate your efforts to keep the University community safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.


Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS
Interim President

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