University of Maryland: Amid Campus COVID Uptick, KN95 Mask Use Encouraged Indoors

Over the past few days, we have identified an uptick in COVID-19 cases on our campus. This follows similar trends within our county and state and across the country, with increasing community transmission driven by the highly contagious BA 2.12.1 omicron subvariant.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been closely monitoring all available data, including new cases and hospitalizations within Prince George’s County. Although the community level within the county is currently designated “Low,” the current uptick suggests we may reach “Medium” by the end of this week if the trend continues.

With that in mind, I want to take this opportunity to remind every member of our campus community to remain vigilant as we close out the final week of our semester. Specifically, KN95 masks continue to be required in all classroom settings, including all final examinations. Additionally, we strongly encourage everyone to wear a K95 mask indoors in all situations. Wearing a KN95 mask provides significant protection against infection, and that protection increases when more of us wear our masks in the same common area.

This is particularly important to do in congregate settings. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to wear a mask in the following situations:

At all indoor commencement ceremonies and accompanying events. You may choose to unmask to walk across the stage, pick up your diploma and take your graduation photograph.
During move-out activities from residence halls for all students, family and other guests.
In communal study spaces, including all university libraries.
For any member of our community who has underlying conditions or a compromised immune system, we encourage you to consult with your physician to determine if other precautions are appropriate.

We will continue to monitor all available COVID-19 data and trends and will implement additional measures as appropriate. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this pandemic together.

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