15 UMD community members test positive for COVID-19 after free testing events on campus

A sign points toward Maryland Stadium's South Gate, where select University of Maryland employees could get tested for COVID-19 on June 19, 2020. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Of the 1,443 University of Maryland community members who received tests for the novel coronavirus last week, 15 tested positive for the virus, university President Darryll Pines wrote in a campuswide email Wednesday.

That tally represents a 1.04 percent positivity rate, which is below the state’s average positivity rate of 3.8 percent, according to the email — a sign Pines called encouraging as the university moves forward with steps to minimize the virus’ spread on campus.

According to the email, the faculty, staff and students who tested positive have been notified by the University Health Center and will be required to self-isolate. Contact tracing has also been initiated by the health center and the Prince George’s County Health Department, and those known to have been in “close contact” with individuals who tested positive will be required to quarantine, Pines wrote.

The university offered the testing at no cost to faculty, staff and students on July 14 and 15 at Maryland Stadium. Staff from the health center led the testing, supported by athletics department staff, and the university obtained the test kits from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Pines wrote.

At this time, the health center is not providing testing on campus, but additional testing events will be scheduled for the future, according to the University Human Resources’ website.

Earlier this month, the university’s administration released its plan for gradually reopening campus, entitled “4Maryland.” 

The plan, which is characterized by four main principles, aims to prioritize the health and safety of the campus community, support educational and research opportunities, promote equity and inclusion, and communicate promptly and transparently, according to the university’s website

Our priority is the health, safety and well-being of every campus citizen,” Pines wrote in Wednesday’s email.

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