The University of Maryland will lift most of its mask, occupancy and physical distancing requirements on Friday at 5 p.m., according to a Thursday email from health center director Spyridon Marinopoulos.
All fully vaccinated individuals will only be required to wear masks when riding public transportation, such as Shuttle-UM, participating in activities involving K-12 students, and obtaining health care services.
Individuals who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask in all public indoor spaces. This marks a departure from decisions made by Prince George’s County and the state of Maryland, which lifted indoor mask mandates for all individuals while encouraging unvaccinated people to wear masks.
Classrooms, office spaces, dorms and dining halls will return to full capacity, according to the email. The university will lift physical distancing requirements throughout campus, except in campus health care facilities.
There are two ways to verify vaccination status, according to the email. After completing the daily symptom monitoring survey, community members can authorize the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Patients to automatically release their vaccination information to the health center. Community members who do not authorize CRISP will have to upload proof of vaccination manually to the health center portal.
To return to the campus in the fall semester, community members must complete vaccinations by Aug. 2, according to the email.
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Easing the restrictions is the latest step by the university toward plans to resume normal operations by the fall semester.
In April, the university released a tentative plan outlining a three-phased approach to returning to normal operations. The university anticipated mask and occupancy restrictions to be in place through at least July. Thursday’s announcement indicates that the university is loosening restrictions at a faster pace.
The university’s COVID-19 testing program yielded no positive results from May 7 to May 24, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard. Plus, as of last week, over 73 percent of community members on the campus reported being fully vaccinated.
“As restrictions in and surrounding our community relax, those who are not vaccinated will be more likely to become infected,” the email read. “We urge everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so.”