Assistant Vice President for Human Resources Jewel M. Washington sent the following message to the University of Maryland community on June 11, 2020:
Dear faculty, staff, student employees and graduate assistants:
As campus leaders continue to plan for the gradual, phased transition of faculty, staff and students back to the physical campus, we are providing additional information so everyone is aware of new guidance, requirements and resources. The April 6, 2020 guidance remains in effect – unless you are one of the designated employees who is scheduled to come to campus, please continue to stay home. We want you to stay away from campus, telework if you can, and practice social distancing. A small number of faculty, staff, and student employees have continued to work on campus throughout the period, as we have been primarily operating in a remote environment. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and the state lifts restrictions, the university is gradually increasing the number of people approved to work on campus. Departments and units that are approved to increase on-campus operations are communicating directly with their employees to provide access to training and other information needed to safely return to campus. University Human Resources has created handbooks for employees and supervisors. I encourage you to read and refer to these resources regularly.
Working Through COVID-19: Returning to Campus
Managing Through COVID-19: Returning to Campus
Before Returning to On-Campus Work
All employees and graduate assistants approved to work on campus must view a short video and read the University’s Community Responsibility Pledge about returning to on-campus work. The video and pledge are available at return.umd.edu. If you do not have access to technology to review the video, you should work with your department to identify the best way to complete this requirement. We are asking supervisors to be helpful in identifying solutions.
New Safety Practices – Beginning Monday, June 15, 2020
It is important that we all engage in healthy behaviors in our efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19. In keeping with guidance from the CDC, state and local health agencies, and the University’s Health and Safety Task Force, we are implementing new safety protocols for all employees and graduate assistants working on campus.
All individuals on campus are expected to follow four core guidelines:
- If you are sick, do not report to work. Employees and graduate assistants will monitor and report health symptoms daily. I have provided more information about self-screening your daily health below.
- Wear a face covering at all times indoors and outdoors when other people are nearby. Individuals may choose to wear their own face coverings. Disposable non-surgical face masks are available immediately to departments through the Procurement Department (details will be provided to department heads).
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from others at all times.
- Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
COVID-19 Self-Assessment – Monitoring Your Daily Health
Health researchers are working day and night to understand COVID-19 and how it spreads. The university is adopting best practices to keep each of us from contracting the virus and spreading it to others. Like many organizations, we are asking all employees to stay away from their on-campus work location if they are experiencing specific symptoms.
- Before reporting to campus for work each day, employees are expected to review a list of COVID-19 symptoms, including feeling feverish or having a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
i. For those with access to a computer, this is to be done by completing the COVID-19 Employee Screening Checklist for symptom monitoring before coming to work each day.
ii. For those without computer access, complete your symptom check at home and report to work only if you do not have symptoms.
- If you experience any of the symptoms listed on the screening checklist, you should notify your supervisor and do not report to campus. Seek advice from your health care provider or, if you do not have a health care provider, contact the University Health Center nurse line at (301)405-4325.
- If you suspect that you have COVID-19 or have been told by a health care provider that you may have COVID-19, you should notify the University Health Center nurse line at (301) 405-4325.
Information that is obtained from daily health symptom monitoring is only made available to the University Health Center. Supervisors will be told if someone who reports to them is advised to check with the health provider, but they will not be provided the specific symptoms recorded. The daily list of employees and graduate assistants who complete the symptom monitoring form will be provided to supervisors, so they may confirm that the form has been completed for all people working on campus each day. Reports for Health Survey completion will be made available to supervisors soon along with details on how to access these reports.
Voluntary COVID-19 Testing
Earlier this week, some employees volunteered to be tested for COVID-19 as part of a pilot. Additional testing for all employees is planned in the near future. This initial limited testing program will be used to inform decisions about future testing practices. Additional resources are available on the UHR Website and at umd.edu/virusinfo.
Update on Campus Buildings and Supplies
- Buildings on campus remain secured at all times, with the same security settings that we would use for weekends and holidays.
- All buildings approved for occupancy will be cleaned on a regular basis, including enhanced cleaning of high-traffic areas, and occupants are asked to assist by wiping chairs, tables and other high-touch surfaces after using them.
- Health information signage is in the process of being updated across campus.
- Departments may obtain hand sanitizer, surface cleaning wipes, face coverings/masks, and thermometers through the normal office supply purchasing process. Also, the Procurement Department has secured some of these supplies and they will communicate with department heads about how to order and receive deliveries.
At every step in planning this phased transition, the health and safety of all members of the campus community have been the top priority. Together we can reduce the spread of the virus. We must all be active participants in our health and the health of our campus colleagues.
Thank you for doing your part.
Jewel M. Washington
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Director of the Human Research Protection Program, Manager of the Institutional Review Board, and Conflict of Interest Administrator Joseph Smith sent the following message to the University of Maryland research community from the Office of the Vice President for Research on June 8, 2020:
Dear UMD Research Community:
On Monday, June 8, 2020, the research enterprise will move into Phase 1, Limited Occupancy Phase. Observe these rules for your safety and the safety of the entire community.
- Researchers must work remotely if they are not approved by the deans to be on campus in Phase 1.
- Researchers must not come to campus if feeling unwell.
- Researchers must complete the COVID 19 Employee Screening Checklist for symptom tracking/monitoring prior to coming to campus every day.
- Researchers must complete the Employee Building Visitation Log daily for contact tracing purposes.
- Researchers must not come to campus if living with or caring for someone with COVID 19 or if awaiting a COVID 19 test result.
- Researchers must wear face coverings/masks in university buildings. Please bring your own face coverings.
- Researchers must practice good hygiene (frequent handwashing) and must clean and disinfect all high contact surfaces.
- Researchers must abide by the following social distancing restrictions in research spaces: no more than 25% occupancy and not to exceed 1 person/ 200ft2.
Important FAQs are posted to this web page, under the section titled "FAQs on the Phased Reopening of Campus Research Activities." Please continue to submit your questions to askresearchadmin.edu.
June 11, 2020