The University of Maryland does not anticipate altering its plans to hold spring break this semester amid the recent spike in coronavirus cases, university President Darryll Pines told The Diamondback Monday morning.
“We’re staying with our current plan to have students go on spring break,” said Pines. “It doesn’t change anything in that regard.”
Since Feb. 16, the university has reported 146 coronavirus cases in its on-campus testing program, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard. In addition, 135 students have self-reported positive test results since Feb. 16, though these results are unconfirmed.
“It’s been alarming to us,” Pines said of the increase in cases. “The transmission rates have been pretty high in the last week, and I think that’s what gave us a lot of concern.”
The uptick in cases has prompted several university actions. The university ceased all University Recreation and Wellness operations, suspended several Shuttle-UM routes, moved all classes online and instituted a “sequester-in-place” order for all students in dorms and university Greek life housing.
These changes will last through at least Feb. 27.
There are more “severe measures” the university could take to curb the virus’ spread, Pines said. He did not elaborate on what those may be.
He also acknowledged the university does not have “complete control” over all student behavior. The university knows of one gathering this semester that violated local health guidelines, Pines added.
“The combination of the on-campus restrictions, coupled with our partnership with Prince George’s County and the City of College Park, I think is the best that we can do,” Pines said.