Vaccinations are an important tool to battling COVID-19, and we encourage all UMCES employees and students to register for a vaccine according to their earliest eligibility status. Local jurisdictions are currently handling vaccinations but there are plans for more significant deployment at central locations. Visit for up-to-date information about priority groups and finding a vaccination site in Maryland.

Medical Consultation

UMCES has secured an outside health consultation service that can be accessed via the telephone called Fonemed. This service will be available to any student, faculty, or staff member regardless if you are coming to campus or teleworking. They will discuss your health concerns and make a recommendation for potential next steps.  They will NOT make a formal referral but offer the type of medical follow-up that you would be responsible to make. To receive a Fonemed health consultation, call 833-359-0171.

Mental Healthcare Resources 

UMCES employees can securely seek help for personal or work‐related problems through our Employee Assistance Program, GuidanceResources. Services are available to ALL UMCES students, faculty and staff and their immediate family/household members. To access EAP services online, use the following link: or access the App searching for GuidanceNow. The web ID is USMEAP.

The UMCES’ Mental Health Committee has assembled Mental Healthcare Resources and Contacts with information about national, Maryland, and local resources available in each campus’ neighborhood.

Staying Social: Links and Ideas for connecting socially

Click HERE for ideas for staying connected virtually with colleagues, family and friends, from online card games and gaming to karaoke and dinner parties. 

Maryland Unites

For more about how you can help your community in Maryland, visit the Maryland Unites website for opportunities and resources.

We invite you to share questions or concerns regarding this crisis at

Coronavirus Q&A

What is novel coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this novel (new) coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). Source: CDC

How does coronavirus spread? The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Source: CDC

What are the symptoms? People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Consult the CDC website for updates.

What should you do if you have symptoms? If you are experiencing symptoms, you should contact your medical provider.

How can you protect yourself? At this time, there is no vaccine that prevents COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can reduce your risk of contracting respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, by taking the following precautions:

  • WASH YOUR HANDS often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • AVOID CLOSE CONTACT with people who are sick. Inside your home, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members. Outside your home, 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
  • COVER YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH WITH A MASK WHEN AROUND OTHERS. Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • COVER COUGHS AND SNEEZES. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • CLEAN AND DISINFECT frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • MONITOR YUR HEALTH DAILY. Be alert for symptoms, and take your temperature if symptoms devleop. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Talk to your medical provider about getting an influenza vaccine. While the influenza vaccine does not protect against coronavirus infection, it can help keep you healthy during the flu season. Flu activity has been high in the United States this year.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention