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The University of Maryland is shifting all classes online for at least a week starting Monday to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, university President Darryll Pines and health center Director Dr. Spyridon Marinopolous announced in a campuswide email Saturday morning.
The guidance follows rising COVID-19 cases in the community, which includes multiple outbreaks across campus.
In addition to the shift online, the email instructs all students in dorms and university Greek life housing to “sequester-in-place” starting at noon Saturday. Those living off-campus in the College Park area are also encouraged to reduce their activities, the email read. These safety measures will be in effect through at least Feb. 27.
Under the sequester-in-place, students must remain in their rooms as much as possible. Students can get fresh air in the area immediately surrounding their dorms and can continue to pick up food from dining halls, the email read.
[Eppley and other UMD RecWell operations to close for at least a week amid COVID-19 spike]
The university is also opening Wicomico Hall to expand isolation housing, the email added. As of Thursday, university-run quarantine and isolation housing was 49 percent occupied, with 105 people housed.
Approved lab research activities can continue operating at 50 percent capacity with distancing and masking precautions, according to the email.
The announcement comes less than 12 hours after emails confirmed the shutdown of Eppley Recreation Center for at least a week due to rising cases in the community. On Thursday, Pines announced increased restrictions on gatherings and the university recorded the most daily COVID-19 cases from campus testing this semester.