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COVID-19: new guidance on travel, events and preparation

March 9, 2020

The University continues to actively monitor the novel coronavirus ("COVID-19") outbreak and provide regular updates to our community. The University Health Center (UHC) is in regular communication with county and state health officials, as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve. This evening, Governor Larry Hogan confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 in Prince George's County. There are no confirmed cases at the University of Maryland.

Given the confirmed case in the county, we will continue to consult with state and county health departments to determine the best course of action for our community. We remind our faculty, staff and students about important health behaviors, and we underscore this message for vulnerable individuals, especially those who are immunocompromised and have chronic health conditions.

 We all play a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19, and we are taking measures to better protect our students, our staff and our faculty. We are providing updates in three key areas:

  •     Travel: The university is issuing the following updated travel guidance, effective for the next 60 days. This guidance applies to all upcoming travel, including any that has been previously approved.
    • All university-related international travel is not permitted.
    • All personal international travel is strongly discouraged.
    • All university-related, non-essential, out-of-state domestic travel is not permitted.
    • We strongly urge extreme caution and judgment for your personal domestic mass transit travel. Take into account the possibility of travel delays or the potential need for self-isolation in the future.
    • Guests traveling from or through countries with a Warning Level 3 travel advisory for COVID-19 from the CDC should postpone their visits to campus.
    • Deans and Vice Presidents have authority to assess essential travel and address other questions. These guidelines will be reevaluated in 30 days.
  • Events and meetings: The university is issuing the following guidance on upcoming events and meetings.
    • Social distancing is strongly encouraged in all situations. As defined by the CDC, social distancing means avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.
    • The university strongly discourages hosting or attending any non-essential large gatherings. We do not recommend scheduling any new large events that would occur for the next 60 days.
    • For meetings or events of any size, practice social distancing and use technology for teleconferencing and video conferencing when you can. For resources for online meetings and calls, visit
    • Deans and Vice Presidents have authority to assess essential events and address other questions. These guidelines are in effect through April 6, 2020, at which point they will be reevaluated.
  • Preparing for the possibility of online coursework and telework: We continue to prepare for the possibility of moving instruction online and the need for employees to telework.
    • We have created a new resource for faculty,, and are in the process of piloting several new resources and programs. It is our goal to make sure that students, faculty, and staff have the equipment and connectivity they need to learn and work from home, if necessary.
    • When preparing to leave for Spring Break, take all essential belongings, medications, and materials from your residence hall or work space in case it should become necessary to restrict return access to campus.
    • Preparing for the possible necessity of moving education online does not signal a total campus closure. Even if in-person classes are restricted, there are parts of campus that will need to stay open. This could include housing for international students and others who need accommodations, research labs, essential support services, and more.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding during this time. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, continue to check your emails and campus website for updates.

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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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