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Thanksgiving Recess Update

November 5, 2020

Dear Maryland community,

Beginning with the very first signs of COVID-19 last spring, the University of Maryland has been focused on the health and safety of our community. Toward that end, slowing the spread of the virus within our campus and our surrounding communities has been and continues to be a major priority and has guided our decision-making. 
Despite our vigilant efforts, the advent of colder weather with more of us spending more time indoors has led to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases nationwide and here in Maryland. The U.S. recorded more than 100,000 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, which is the highest single-day total since the pandemic began. Research conducted by our faculty and our colleagues at the University of Maryland, Baltimore on the impact of climate on infection rates also suggests that we should expect a continued escalation of COVID-19 cases in our region.
New and Updated: Post-Thanksgiving Classes, Testing and Staffing
Given these public health indicators, I am today announcing that courses will transition entirely to online instruction, with very few exceptions, following the Thanksgiving break. Additionally, Eppley Recreation Center, Stamp Student Union and other student service locations will scale back operations beginning Wednesday, November 25 and will maintain only limited services for the remainder of the semester. Also, as happens annually, dining halls will be closed from 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 24 until 4:00 p.m. Sunday, November 29. 
All students who elect to travel away from campus for Thanksgiving should plan to remain away for the duration of the semester. Students who choose to remain in residence halls for Thanksgiving may stay in their residence halls until the conclusion of the semester. Resident Life will be communicating directly with residential students later today with more guidance.
We will offer campus-wide COVID-19 testing the week prior to Thanksgiving. Details will be provided by the University Health Center in the coming weeks. Regular on-campus testing will continue after Thanksgiving break.
Like many of you, I wish for a return to normalcy for our university, including the full resumption of in-person classes and extracurricular activities. Yet this virus continues to demand vigilance, patience and perseverance. I believe the actions outlined above are prudent, data-driven, and in the best interests of our university community.  
Staying Vigilant 
Working together, our collective efforts have helped mitigate the spread of the virus and allowed us to slowly increase the amount of programs and activities on campus. As you know, we delayed the resumption of in-person instruction, conducted campus-wide testing of faculty, staff and students, implemented daily symptom checks, launched online healthy behavior training, distributed TerrapinSTRONG masks, installed thousands of 4 Maryland signs, and continued investing in our online learning environment. Our decisions have been communicated transparently and grounded in data, much of which is displayed daily in our COVID-19 Dashboard.  
The single largest factor in our success has been the widespread adoption of the 4 Maryland healthy behaviors -- wear a mask, practice physical distancing, wash hands frequently, and stay home if you’re sick. On behalf of every member of our campus community, I thank you for doing your part and for demonstrating such care for your fellow Terps during the past several months. We will emerge from this pandemic strengthened for having faced this challenge together. Until then, let us remain TerrapinSTRONG.
Darryll J. Pines
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
Twitter: @President_Pines
Instagram: @President_Pines
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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. 

The newly launched Innovation Gateway will guide you to the resources, programs, partners, and spaces you need to activate and scale your fearless ideas into innovations that launch new ventures, catalyze growth, and advance economic development.


At the University of Maryland, the arts, the humanities and the sciences intersect to address important societal issues and shed new light on the human experience. Our vibrant campus arts community collaborates with local and national cultural organizations such as the Phillips Collection, Kennedy Center and Folger Shakespeare Library. Student and faculty artists, designers, historians, writers and performers are exploring new media, presenting new perspectives, investigating new techniques and engaging new audiences.


Home of the Terrapins, the University of Maryland has one of the nation’s most recognizable and successful athletics programs. More than 550 student-athletes compete each year in 20 intercollegiate sports—12 for women and eight for men. Since 2005 alone, Maryland has won 19 national championships, including NCAA titles in women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men's lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, and field hockey. Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2014, UMD has won a combined 32 regular season and tournament championships. Fear the Turtle!

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The Terp experience extends beyond classrooms, labs and studios. It encompasses residence halls and dining halls, clubs and sports, fraternities and sororities, campus events and performances, and countless off-campus destinations. Maryland touts 800-plus student organizations, dozens of prestigious living and learning communities, and countless other ways to get involved. Students here can create a unique identity and grow as individuals, even as they’re part of a close-knit and diverse community. 

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