COVID-19 Resources

RETURN TO CAMPUS PLAN WEEKLY CASE SUMMARY WELLNESS RESOURCES POLICIES & GUIDANCE

Updated January 3, 2021


We are in phase 2.5 of our Return to Campus Plan.

UMCES will reopen as planned on Monday, January 3, following the holiday break. Telework is strongly encouraged for those who are able to do so from Monday, January 3 through Friday, January 21, 2022. 

UMCES will require a negative COVID test result for all students, faculty, and staff coming to campus starting Monday, January 24, 2022. 

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

RETURN TO CAMPUS CHECKLIST


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 as soon as eligible. 

GET TESTED

- A negative COVID test is required of ALL employees returning to campus starting Monday, January 24, 2022. Report negative tests TAKEN AFTER January 1 and BEFORE January 24 to hr@umces.edu to meet this requirement.
- 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.
- Those who work from home or come to campus occasionally (less than one time per week and less than 4 hours that day) are not required to be tested.
- Any new employee must show a negative COVID test within two months, even if they have been vaccinated.

 

MONITOR YOUR HEALTH DAILY

- If you are feeling ill, DO NOT come on the campus or in the field and notify your supervisor
- If you have an increased temperature, DO NOT come on the campus or in the field and notify your supervisor
- If you test positive for COVID, DO NOT come on the campus or in the field and notify your supervisor
- If you have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, DO NOT come on the campus or in the field and notify your supervisor

STAY SAFE

- Masks are required in all indoor common spaces and outdoor space when within 3 feet of colleagues.   
- Wash your hands.
- Monitor yourself for symptoms.
- Follow campus guidelines outlined in the Return to Campus Plan.


Protocols and Procedures to Protect the Health and Safety of Employees

Vaccines, including booster shots, social distancing, hygiene vigilance, and mask wearing remain the best ways to minimize COVID infections. UMCES continues to require masks in all indoor common areas, and vaccination continues to be required in the new year for all students, faculty, and staff, except those who have an authorized exemption. If you are unvaccinated, irrespective of an exemption, you must continue to get tested weekly.

UPDATE: UMCES will reopen as planned on Monday, January 3, following the holiday break. However, telework is strongly encouraged for those who are able to do so from Monday, January 3, through Friday, January 21, 2022. Supervisors should reach out to their employees to confirm and coordinate telework within their departments. While telework is strongly encouraged, those employees that are essential to operations or whose duties cannot be effectively performed via telework should come to campus. If you are unsure about whether you are to report to campus please contact your supervisor to confirm your status. 

Daily Symptoms Check
We are asking that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to monitor your own health carefully on a daily basis:

  • If you are feeling ill, DO NOT come on the campus or in the field and notify your supervisor.
  • If you have an increased temperature, DO NOT come on the campus or in the field and notify your supervisor.
  • If you test positive for COVID, DO NOT come on the campus or in the field and notify your supervisor.
  • If you have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, DO NOT come on the campus or in the field and notify your supervisor.

Mask Wearing
The following rules related to mask wearing are in place:

  • For those vaccinated: Masks, covering the nose and mouth completely, are required when in common indoor areas in any building at UMCES.
  • For those unvaccinated: Masks, covering the nose and mouth completely, are required when in common indoor areas in any building at UMCES, and outdoor space when within 3 feet of colleagues. Vehicles cannot be shared. Weekly testing is required and must be submitted to HR@umces.edu. Failure to comply with either mask wearing or testing guidelines may result in personnel actions.
  • For those who have received exemptions from COVID vaccinations: Masks are required in all indoor common spaces and outdoor space when within 3 feet of colleagues. Vehicles cannot be shared. Weekly testing is still required and must be submitted to HR@umces.edu. Failure to comply with either mask wearing or testing guidelines may result in personnel actions.

Social Distancing
Social distancing of at least 3 feet is required as much as possible. It is understood that there are circumstances when social distancing is not possible to perform work tasks. In these situations, as mentioned above, a KN95/N95 mask shall be properly worn (covering both nose and mouth) by the researcher, staff, or student. 

Work Bubbles
Work Bubbles” have been suspended until further notice. Masks must be worn at all times when in close proximity to work colleagues, regardless of vaccine status. 

Testing

A negative COVID test is required of ALL employees returning to campus starting Monday, January 24.
- PCR or rapid tests are acceptable. Home tests are allowable, and some units may have a limited supply free of cost. (Please check with your unit director.)
- Please report negative tests TAKEN AFTER January 1 and BEFORE January 24 to hr@umces.edu to meet this requirement. If you have taken a COVID home test, you may send an email with the test name, date, and time of your test and its result. It is recognized that if an employee has previously tested COVID positive, they may test positive for 90 days. If you are in that situation, please reach out to the Director of HR for an exception to the testing requirement.
- Should any rapid or PCR test be positive, do not go to UMCES facilities. For a positive rapid test,  we recommend verifying the results with a PCR test.  

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 continue to use regular work hours to get tested, and if a fee is required, it will be reimbursed through your unit business office. MD COVID-19 TESTING SITES

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.

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—and encourage anyone who hasn’t gotten one yet to do so as soon as possible.
 
UMCES will accept 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.
 

Medical Exemption Form           Religious Exemption Form

The CDC recommends that all individuals 18 years and older receive a vaccine booster. Therefore, we strongly encourage ALL students, faculty, and staff to get their booster shots as soon as eligible. 

Teleworking

Telework is strongly encouraged for those who are able to do so from Monday, January 3, through Friday, January 21, 2022. Supervisors should reach out to their employees to confirm and coordinate telework within their departments. While telework is strongly encouraged, those employees that are essential to operations or whose duties cannot be effectively performed via telework should come to campus. If you are unsure about whether you are to report to campus please contact your supervisor to confirm your status. 

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.If 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.