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Latest Travel Guidance on Coronavirus

March 3, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

The University continues to actively monitor the novel coronavirus ("COVID-19") outbreak and provide regular updates to our community. In addition, university administrators are aware and taking into account the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019, which was updated yesterday. Currently there continues to be no confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection at UMD or in the State of Maryland.

In the last communication on February 28, 2020, we notified our students studying abroad in Italy that the CDC alert level for that country had upgraded to Warning Level 3 and that we were therefore suspending our study abroad programs in Italy. Students were asked to return home, rather than to the UMD campus, and to "self-monitor" and "self-isolate" for two weeks to reduce the risk of spread of infection upon return to the U.S.

New Guidance on Self-Isolation
The University System of Maryland has also issued a statement on self-isolation of students, faculty and staff returning from international study and personal travel due to COVID-19. The CDC defines self-monitoring and self-isolation on its website.

I must emphasize the importance of not returning to campus and refraining from non-essential contact with others during the two-week self-isolation period. Members of the campus community may want to visit friends on campus, but we insist that travelers from Level 3 countries avoid doing so for 14 days. We all need to work together to limit the possible spread of this infection.

New Announcements on Education Abroad
The CDC issued new travel guidance in light of the continued spread of COVID-19. It says that institutions of higher education "should consider asking current program participants to return to their home country." We continue to closely monitor the situation and are taking seriously the CDC?s guidance. Indeed, the University strongly suggests that any student abroad who has a chronic health condition or who is immunocompromised return home. Our Education Abroad staff stands ready and willing to assist. We are working with our education partners abroad to develop online learning solutions wherever possible should students wish to depart a program early.

As stated in the last communication, we will take further action to close programs if warranted by an elevation of a country's travel warning status to Level 3. We rely on information provided by the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. State Department, state and local health departments, and on-campus public health experts to guide decisions concerning locations around the world where our students are studying abroad. The University's Incident Response Team is actively involved in decision making.

I remind students studying abroad in countries with an Alert Level 2 (currently our students in Japan) that they should check daily for notices from the UMD Education Abroad office, and they should be prepared to return to the U.S. should the alert level for that country increase to Warning Level 3.

We have decided to cancel all Education Abroad programs for spring break 2020 and for summer session 2020. You may contact the UMD Education Abroad Office for more details. The University is currently looking into other student-led international trips over spring break that are not organized through the Education Abroad office.

Limiting International Travel
We ask that all members of the University community limit non-essential international travel. The University is suspending authorization for travel using institutional funds to or from any country with a CDC Warning Level 3 status for COVID-19. Any exceptions must be approved by the Office of the Provost.

We Need The Cooperation of Every Member of Our Community

  • We ask any UMD faculty member, staff member or student returning from a country currently at Warning Level 3 status to stay away from campus, self-monitor and self-isolate for two weeks post return.
  • We continue to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice prevention behaviors and hold each other accountable in following safe and healthy practices. If you know of a fellow student, colleague or coworker who has traveled to a Warning Level 3 country, please discourage them from coming to campus.
  • For the latest updates, visit

Our thoughts are with everyone in the UMD community who has been directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19.


Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost


The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,700 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and nearly 400,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus.


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Spanning 12 schools and colleges, Maryland offers more than 300 degree-granting programs, many of them ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 58 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. And our students, who include the highest achievers in the state and nation, enjoy experiences unique to our location just outside the nation’s capital, including internships, research, and leadership and service opportunities.

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The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change. We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives. 

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