COVID-19 testing will be mandatory for all USM students and employees returning to campus
MARYLAND — COVID-19 testing will be mandatory for all University System of Maryland on-campus students and employees returning to campus.
Anyone returning in-person to a USM institution must be tested for COVID-19 within 14 days prior to their arrival, and must provide university officials confirmation of a negative COVID test result.
Certain USM universities are conducting this testing as students and employees arrive on campus. Others are beginning their fall semester imminently, within 14 days of this guidance.
“I think it’s important that we go ahead and test because some people will be asymptomatic and this will allow us to identify them right up front and keep them from spreading the virus,” says Dr. Heidi Anderson, the president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
In the cases of these universities—and others in which testing arrangements vary from USM protocols—students and employees should follow the testing guidance issued by their institution. Out-of-state students arriving at a USM institution must be compliant with Maryland guidelines on testing and quarantine.
Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 prior to arrival will not be allowed on campus, and should consult with their health care provider immediately. These students and employees will be permitted on campus only after a required period of isolation has been met, per public health guidelines.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 following their arrival on campus will consult with university officials regarding medical follow-up and isolation requirements.
Universities will provide guidance to students and employees who have been tested for COVID-19 but are still awaiting their test results at the start of the fall semester. Additionally, universities will share alternative testing arrangements with anyone who is unable to access a COVID test before arriving on campus.
“Baseline testing is something that we’ve looked at doing from the start. The fact that now the baseline testing will include everybody gives us an even wider swath of data to work with,” says Jason Rhodes with Salisbury University.
Furthermore, all students and employees returning to a USM institution must begin daily symptom monitoring and reporting 14 days before their arrival on campus. Universities will provide further evaluation and guidance to anyone reporting COVID-associated symptoms.
On-campus students and employees, as well as all visitors to a USM institution, must meet the following requirements:
- Use of a mask or face covering in campus buildings and on campus grounds, in accordance with local orders
- Physical distancing of at least six feet between individuals
- Compliance with local guidance on events and gatherings
- Vigilant hand hygiene (washing, sanitizing, limited face-touching)
- Daily symptom monitoring, as stipulated by each institution
Each USM university will provide detailed guidance to students and employees regarding compliance with the following protocols.