COVID-19 Resources

RETURN TO CAMPUS PLAN WELLNESS RESOURCES POLICIES & GUIDANCE

Updated March 4, 2022

If the downward trends of the transmission and hospitalization rates of COVID-19 continue, UMCES plans the following beginning on Monday, April 4, 2022:

  • The capacity at UMCES units will return to 100%.
  • Weekly testing of unvaccinated individuals will still be required.
  • Individuals will be asked to self-screen for COVID symptoms and be expected to refrain from coming to campus if symptoms are present.  
  • In-person meetings, conferences, and events can be planned and scheduled. We encourage using the largest reasonably sized space to ensure social distancing, and depending upon circumstances masks may be required.
  • Guest housing will reopen. Vaccination and booster shots are required for residents.

We will continue to assess current conditions and update safety requirements as needed.

RETURN TO CAMPUS CHECKLIST


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GET VACCINATED

- All eligible students, faculty, and staff who will be on University System of Maryland campuses must be vaccinated against COVID.
- Submit proof of vaccination to hr@umces.edu.
- The CDC recommends that all individuals 18 years and older receive a vaccine booster. We strongly encourage ALL students, faculty, and staff to get their booster shots.

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GET TESTED

- Weekly testing is required for unvaccinated individuals who come to campus on a regular basis. A negative test result must be submitted to hr@umces.edu by Monday morning each week before coming to campus.
- Any new employee must show a negative COVID test within two months, even if they have been vaccinated.
- If you test positive, please do not come to UMCES facilities for 10 days unless you have a personalized medical recommendation that states another time period.

 
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MONITOR YOUR HEALTH DAILY

- Individuals will be asked to self-screen for COVID symptoms and to refrain from coming to campus if symptoms are present. 
- If you are feeling ill or an increased temperature, DO NOT come on the campus.
- If you test positive for COVID, DO NOT come on the campus or in the field.
- If you have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, monitor your health, and get tested if you develop any symptoms. 

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STAY SAFE

- Masks are optional. We request everyone carry a mask in case one is requested by a colleague while in an enclosed space.
- Wash your hands.
- Monitor yourself for symptoms.
- Follow campus guidelines.


Protocols to Protect the Health and Safety of Employees

Vaccines, including booster shots, social distancing, hygiene vigilance, and improvements to facilities remain the best ways to minimize COVID infections. We continue to encourage everyone to be vigilant to protect your coworkers and community.

Symptoms Check
We are asking everyone to monitor your own health carefully on a daily basis and refrain from coming to campus if symptoms are present.

Mask Wearing
Effective Monday, March 7, masks are no longer required indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Some may be more comfortable with continuing to wear a mask. We request everyone carry a mask in case one is requested by a colleague while in an enclosed space. Please be respectful of these requests from colleagues as many of our community have interactions with vulnerable individuals outside of work.

On-Campus Meetings & Guest Housing
In-person meetings, conferences, and events can be planned and scheduled. We encourage using the largest reasonably sized space to ensure social distancing, and depending upon circumstances, masks may be required. Guest housing will reopen. Vaccination and booster shots are required for residents.

COVID Safety Improvements
Improvements to air handling, work space configurations and preparedness have been made by UMCES' facilities. For details, see UMCES COVID Safety Improvements.

Testing

UMCES requires weekly testing for employees who have not been vaccinated. A negative test result must be submitted to hr@umces.edu by Monday morning each week before coming to campus, regardless of exemption status. Employees may use regular work hours to get tested, and if a fee is required, it will be reimbursed through your unit business office. 

Those who received exemption from vaccination must still meet the weekly testing requirement before coming to campus. Testing is not necessary if fully vaccinated and proof of vaccination has been provided to hr@umces.edu.

If you test positive, please do not come to UMCES facilities for 10 days unless you have a personalized medical recommendation that states another time period.

Weekly Testing for Unvaccinated Employees - Guidance & FAQs

Vaccinations

All eligible students, faculty, and staff who will be on University System of Maryland campuses must be vaccinated against COVID. Submit a photo of vaccination card to hr@umces.edu. We continue to strongly advise boosters for all students, faculty and staff.
 
UMCES accepts proof of vaccination with vaccines that have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as vaccines that have been authorized by national regulatory agencies in other countries. UMCES will not accept vaccines that are given as part of clinical trials or that have been authorized by regulatory agencies in other countries but have been evaluated and rejected by WHO.
 
 
Exemptions to the vaccination requirement are for religious or medical reasons only. For more information, contact Lisa Ross at lross@umces.edu.
 

Teleworking

For those who wish to telework after April 4, they must work with their supervisor to develop an approved teleworking plan. UMCES’ new telework policy and request forms are available on the Human Resources website.

People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19
The CDC has identified conditions that may make individuals at high risk for COVID-19 and have issued recommendations to reduce their risk.I f you believe you are in a high risk category and require special accommodations on campus, please contact your supervisor or Lisa Ross at lross@umces.edu, 410-221-2017, or Associate Director of your Unit.

Hiring Freeze and Exception Process
UMCES has implemented a hiring freeze for all vacant faculty, regular and contingent I and II exempt and non-exempt staff positions. For details, please consult the Hiring Pause and Exception Notice.

For questions and to find out more information contact Lisa Ross, Director of Human Resources directly at lross@umces.edu.

Travel

For domestic work travel, no special permission of the Unit Director is necessary beyond filing a Travel Advance Request (TAR). 

International work travel requires approval of the Unit Director and should follow CDC, U.S. State Department, and State of Maryland regulations. Upon return, the Unit Director may request a negative COVID test and/or apply other restrictions on access to common-use areas and facilities, on a case-by-case basis depending upon the location of the travel. 

Graduate Program

The default mode of instruction for classes during the Spring semester will be via Zoom. Faculty members who wish to teach using a video classroom at their site may do so with approval of the Unit leadership.  Students can also use classrooms if it aids in their connectivity with approval of their Unit leadership. When using a classroom, please wear masks and maintain at least 3 ft of social distancing. Graduate students working on laboratory and field research must follow the guidelines set forth in the Return to Campus Plan.

 For questions or concerns, contact the UMCES Vice President for Education’s office at education@umces.edu. 

UMCES Education Information and FAQs                    Student Resources

New visiting scholars and collaborators are allowed on site but must provide proof of vaccination.