Letters to the UMB Community

The Delta Variant and UMB

July 29, 2021

Dear UMB Community,
I write today amidst the headlines of the extremely contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 to reassure you that the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is monitoring the situation and taking it very seriously. As you may have seen this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared guidance that vaccinated people should wear masks in certain circumstances including in high-transmission areas.
Thankfully, UMB’s campus is not a high-transmission area — UMB faculty, staff, and students are highly vaccinated. At least 91 percent of UMB employees who will be on campus this fall are already vaccinated against COVID-19, and less than 3 percent of employees have indicated an intention not to receive the vaccine. Similarly, although vaccination data for students is more fluid as new students enroll for the fall semester, over 80 percent of students who will be on campus this fall have affirmatively indicated that they are vaccinated, with only 3 percent of students indicating that they will remain unvaccinated.
The biggest health threat from COVID-19 continues to be to those individuals who are unvaccinated, and thus getting vaccinated remains the best protection against serious illness and death. If you are already vaccinated, I urge you to talk with friends, family, or colleagues who are reluctant about vaccination. If you are not vaccinated, please consider making an appointment to do so.
I want to remind you to not come to campus if you are feeling ill — whether or not it is COVID-19 related.
I am grateful that UMB continues to be a safe environment and that this community understands that we are in this together. It will take all of us to beat this pandemic.
Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS

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