The COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom has been detected on the University of Maryland’s campus, according to a Friday campuswide email.

The university confirmed the presence of the variant through a research study, wrote Dr. Spyridon Marinopoulos, the University Health Center’s director.

This variant is more contagious than other variants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Marinopoulos also warned that “additional emerging variants may be more virulent and may evade immunity.”

[UMD student affairs VP Patty Perillo talks vaccines, fall semester outlook at town hall]
The email also outlined guidelines for university COVID-19 precautions before and after spring break, which is still scheduled for March 14 to 21

To return to on-campus housing after spring break, students are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken at most 72 hours before arrival.

Undergraduate classes will be held online from March 22 to April 2, the email read. 

“We must all remain vigilant and continue to practice the 4 Maryland healthy behaviors,” Marinopoulos wrote.