Dear UMBC Community,
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance on masking that calls for indoor masking under certain conditions. At this time, the CDC has classified Maryland as an area with only moderate transmission given its high vaccination rates and low positivity rate (just over 2%). While at this time the CDC guidelines would not suggest a new mask mandate for Maryland, we know that state and local officials are closely monitoring and assessing the situation.
We wish to remind our community that masking continues to be required indoors at UMBC. While we are cautiously optimistic that high vaccination rates and low positivity rates may make it possible to lift this requirement for vaccinated and verified community members before the start of the semester, we are not ready to make this decision at this time.
We are currently reviewing the new guidance and available research. We are also reaching out to state and local government partners and the University System of Maryland to understand how their guidance is evolving. We will share our recommended next steps with the community in the near future.
It is essential that all in our community report their vaccinations as soon as possible. We recently informed students that the deadline for commuting students to report is August 20. Residential students received an earlier deadline to ensure they could move in. You can view our vaccination rate on our public health dashboard. Remember that once your vaccine is verified, you are entered into weekly incentive drawings.
Thank you for your patience and commitment to keeping UMBC safe and healthy.
Provost Philip Rous
Vice President for Administration and Finance Lynne Schaefer
COVID-19 Planning Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs