Mary Ann Rankin, senior vice president and provost, and Laurie E. Locascio, vice president for research, sent the following message to the University of Maryland research community on April 7, 2020:
As you know, the University of Maryland is currently operating under severe research restrictions that were implemented across the university on March 25 in anticipation of Gov. Larry Hogan’s imposition of strict stay-at-home guidelines for Marylanders on March 30. Severe research restrictions were put in place until April 10 in hopes that we might be able to resume moderate research activity at that time.
Unfortunately, the governor’s stay-at-home order is still in place, and, as you have likely heard from leaders, including Gov. Hogan, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, the next two weeks are expected to see critical escalation of the number of new cases and deaths across the U.S. and in our region. Thus there is an increasing need for us all to continue to minimize all non-essential interactions with others, and it is unfortunately clear that we cannot lift the mandate for severe research restrictions on April 10 as we had hoped. We are therefore announcing today that severe research restrictions must remain in place through May 1.
The approvals previously established for requested exemptions allowing limited access to laboratories and other research spaces will remain in effect until May 1. New requests for exemptions should be submitted, via the same process, for approval by the deans and the vice president for research.
Please note: There are currently exemptions in place for critical maintenance operations including caring for animals, instruments and precious samples. If you have such an exemption to be on campus for critical maintenance activities, we urge you to come in, complete the task and leave quickly to maximize compliance with the governor’s orders.
We have also allowed a few exemptions for COVID-19-related research and very limited research with animals in order to prevent unnecessary euthanization of our animal colonies. If you hold such an exemption to be on campus for continuation of experiments, you must use every precaution to protect your health and the health of others, including social distancing, hand-washing, wiping down surfaces, and wearing gloves and face masks.
We hope you and your families take care and remain healthy through this crisis.
With all best wishes,
General University Guidance
Health Information Resources
April 8, 2020