U.Md. drops some COVID-19 restrictions in light of optimistic virus data

Positive news in their COVID-19 data motivated the University of Maryland to relax some of its campus restrictions.

As of Feb. 27, the university said its positivity rate dropped to 1% after its latest three-day stretch of testing. The university lifted its sequester-in-place order at noon Saturday.

On Monday, there will be a larger wave of reopenings on campus. In-person classes will resume, and Stamp Student Union, the University Book Center and RecWell facilities will also reopen. Limited programs at the recreation center can be booked starting Sunday at 6 a.m.

“We will continue to actively monitor the situation and intervene appropriately as needed, including requiring additional testing in areas where we may observe increased viral transmission,” President Darryll Pines said in a statement.

The university will restrict indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25 persons, or no more than one person per 200 square feet in either case.

Physical distancing and proper mask-wearing are still required in all settings, the university said.

Monitoring virus data will be key to maintaining the current reopening policies, and there are still disciplinary measures for those around campus who break the guidance.

Those who spot anyone on campus breaking the protocols can report them to the university’s ethics, compliance and integrity website.

Since the start of the fall semester, the university said nearly 600 referrals had been made to the Office of Student Conduct for potential COVID-19 violations.

Per the university, students have lost housing privileges, and it has issued more than 30 interim suspensions.

The City of College Park, which the university said has collaborated with itself, has significantly increased its compliance activities, resulting in over 250 warnings and municipal infractions for violations of noise and gathering limits, and assessing over $35,000 in fines.


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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