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University System of Maryland Hagerstown

USMH Response to COVID-19

Written by sbrown Posted: 0 Comments

March 20, 2020 (9 a.m.)

Following guidance from the University System of Maryland (USM), Governor Larry Hogan, and the federal government all USM institutions have made a collective decision to deliver undergraduate classes in a distance format for the remainder of the spring semester. Graduate programs require different considerations and the universities are working through those now.

Each university's leadership will determine plans for its students to complete the semester and fulfill all of their requirements. Students enrolled in programs at USMH should refer to their home university's communications for detailed guidance.

Further, all USM universities have decided that they will not hold in-person commencement ceremonies. Some institutions may individually decide to hold alternative or virtual celebrations. In following this decision, USMH will not hold its annual Graduation Celebration.

USMH will remain administratively operational, even as the exterior doors are locked. We will continue to provide student services via telework through the spring semester, and until further notice. This includes being available for students seeking help from the Writing Center, from Behavioral Health, and student housing. The buildings are not open to students or faculty in order to be consistent with the 10-person rule and the spirit of Governor Hogan's remarks.

Looking to the immediate future:
• We will continue to sanitize the buildings for the benefit of our own students, faculty and staff, and for BISFA students.
• Antietam Broadband is providing a number of free wi-fi hotspots throughout Washington County. Several are downtown between USMH and Public Square. Use the following link to access a map of where those hotspots are. Download the free Antietam WiFi Finder App from Google Play or Apple App Store, or consult the map on its website. We will also post these links on our homepage.
• All face-to-face events, both organized by USMH and sponsored by one of our partner universities, have been canceled for the remainder of the spring semester.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work collaboratively through this crisis.

Mark Halsey, Executive Director


March 13, 2020 Update (10 a.m.)

To All Members of the USMH Community:

Following yesterday's announcement by Governor Hogan (including closure of all public schools until March 30th), and the subsequent guidance from the University System, we are taking the following measure:

• All USMH buildings are closed to the public, effective March 14. Security will be present from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.

• Students, faculty and staff of each Academic Partner should follow your institution's instructional guidelines with regard to online instruction for the announced self-isolation period ending April 6, and pay particular attention to the possibility that this period of self-isolation could be extended.

• All events and activities scheduled on USMH premises between March 13 and April 6 are canceled. • Essential USMH employees needed on site Monday - Friday at USMH will be identified with all other full-time employees provided with telework assignments. Part-time employees will be provided with work on an as-needed basis. As you have questions, please forward them to the appropriate USMH staff person. Please continue to monitor your emails and our website for further information as things could likely change. If you are not registered to receive USMH alerts, we urge you to do so now. Thank you for your patience. - Mark C. Halsey, Executive Director, USMH

March 11, 2020 Update

The Unviersity System of Maryland at Hagerstown (USMH) is continuing to monitor the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), working in close collaboration with the University System of Maryland (USM), our five partner universities, and state and local officials.

Our primary concern is the health and well-being of the students, faculty, staff and guests on our campus. We will continue to update information about the steps and precautions we are taking to ensure the safety of our campus population and plans for any possible scenarios that may cause us to consider modifying our daily operations on campus.

We urge everyone to remain vigilant in taking precautions to protect yourselves and others from the possible spread of COVID-19 by following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as noted on the CDC website.

What can you do to protect yourself and others?

There is no vaccine available for COVID-19. In general, people can protect themselves and others against respiratory viruses by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap & water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home from work or school
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice good health habits.

It's not too late to get your flu shot! While the influenza vaccine does not protect against coronavirus infection, it can keep you healthy during the flu season.
Source: Maryland Health Department

Resources for Information on COVID-19
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Washington County Health Department
University System of Maryland

Partner Institutions' Responses to COVID-19
Frostburg State University
Salisbury University
Towson University
University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Meritus Health Resource on Coping with Fear & Anxiety Related to COVID-19