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USM Statement on Self Isolation of Students, Faculty and Staff Returning from International Study and Personal Travel Due to COVID-19

March 3, 2020

The health and safety of students, faculty and staff of USM institutions is paramount as the University System of Maryland develops protocols in response to the global outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. This is, obviously, a very fluid situation that requires our procedures to align with recommendations of public health experts in response to developments.

Based on current advice of our experts, we have asked students, faculty, and staff returning to the United States from a country included in CDC’s listing of those with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 to return to their personal residences, isolate themselves for 14 days, and seek medical attention if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. We are asking these individuals not to return directly to their USM institutions.

What does it mean to self-isolate? Our experts have advised that individuals limit contact with others as best they can—that could mean staying apart in a separate room or a similar set-up. They should also follow published CDC recommendations regarding self-isolation, which include self-observation and monitoring of symptoms (such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing). Should such symptoms become evident, individuals should contact their health care provider. They should not go to a hospital or emergency room. They should instead seek treatment at their physician’s office or an urgent care center where they will likely encounter fewer people and thus reduce the chance of transmission.

USM institutions are providing this information to affected students and faculty as part of a request that they return home to the United States. After 14 days of self-isolation without sign of infection, these individuals will be required to contact their individual health provider, student health center, or employee health staff prior to returning to their USM institution and continuing their work or studies.