Review finds University of Maryland met standards following adenovirus outbreak

A year after a University of Maryland freshman from Howard County died from complications from adenovirus, an independent investigation has found that the university’s College Park campus followed protocols.

An independent panel looking into the university’s response following the death of 18-year-old Olivia Paregol released its report to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, finding that the College Park campus followed all health protocols.

“The university’s response to adenovirus and mold issues on campus complied with recognized federal, state and campus protocols,” the Board of Regents said in a statement Wednesday, summarizing findings from the report.

“Both federal and state health agencies were timely informed of the presence of adenovirus on campus and campus officials followed those agencies’ recommendations at key times during the response.”

Olivia Paregol, 18, died during an outbreak of adenovirus at the University of Maryland in 2018. (Courtesy Ian Paregol)

Five other students were diagnosed with adenovirus in the fall of 2018, and there were questions about the presence of mold in the dorms.

In May, The Washington Post reported that the university waited 18 days before notifying students of the outbreak, sparking fresh criticism of Maryland’s higher ed system and the College Park campus about six months after Paregol’s death.

At that time, Paregol’s father, Ian Paregol, told WTOP, “From our perspective, the university has demonstrated a reckless pattern of indifference to the health and safety of staff and students.”

The independent review, requested by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, began in May and employed health experts in infectious disease, facilities management and industrial hygiene.

They found that the university never limited the response or cost to investigating reports of adenovirus and mold issues on its College Park campus.

However, the panel suggested among other things that the university establish a single emergency response team that’s “adequately empowered to coordinate a proactive response across all stakeholders.”

Read the full report here. And see a timeline of the fall 2018 outbreak at College Park here.

WTOP’s Teta Alim contributed to this report. 

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up