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Prevention Measures for Staying Healthy

March 7, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, globally and locally, the University of Maryland is working closely with the University System of Maryland (USM), the state health department, and local health officials to make decisions that put the health and safety of our community first. As Terps, we believe in being good global citizens, and coming together to protect our community. While the university continues to increase cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and restrooms in university buildings, residence halls, fraternity and sorority housing, recreation facilities, the Stamp Student Union and Shuttle-UM buses, there are several prevention actions you can take to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19. We urge everyone to follow the prevention guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the additional guidance below:

 Less Touching and More Cleaning

  • Don't shake hands. Use a fist bump, elbow bump, or other creative greeting
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty
  • Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer available in your backpack/handbag, at each residential entrance, and in the car for use after getting gas or touching other potentially contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands
  • Travel with tissue packs in case you need to sneeze or cough
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as cell phones, doorknobs, light switches, remote and game controllers, and computer desks
  • Use disinfectant wipes on public scooters and bikes before use; always use wipes to clean gym equipment before and after use
  • Do not rub the Testudo statues for good luck before using wipes to clean before and after

Keep Your Distance

  • If you are sick, stay home and seek medical care, as necessary
  • Keep your distance from sick people
  • Don't share water bottles, glasses or eating utensils
  • Avoid crowds and stuffy, poorly ventilated spaces
  • Consider virtual meetings as an alternative to in-person meetings

Prepare and Practice Regular Good Health Habits

  • Stock up on home supplies, medicine and drinks to last during illness
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • When riding in a car with one or more passengers, use the Fresh Air Mode instead of Recirculation Mode
  • Get plenty of sleep, exercise, manage stress and eat nutritious food

But, what about face masks? The CDC does not recommend the general public to wear dust/surgical masks. Because these face masks aren't fitted, viral particles can easily get in, under and around them and end up in your respiratory system. You should not assume that individuals wearing masks is an indicator of illness. Wearing masks in some communities can serve diverse functions. For more information, read the Office of Diversity and Inclusion's Tips for Community Support.

If you have an underlying health condition, take medications that suppress your immune system, are at high risk for COVID-19 complications or otherwise concerned about your health, and have health related questions about coronavirus, please consult with your healthcare provider or health specialist.

The University will continue to send updates and share information on If you have non-medical questions specific to coronavirus, please contact

In health,
The University Health Center

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