The University of Maryland is suspending its QR code contact tracing strategy in classrooms, according to a campuswide email Tuesday from University Health Center director Spyridon Marinopoulos.
At the start of the semester, the university introduced a COVID-19 contact tracing system that relied on planting QR codes in classrooms. Students did not scan the QR codes enough for contact COVID-19 tracing to be effective, Marinopolous wrote.
The move comes as cases decline at this university and in Prince George’s County, according to the email.
There are about 6,218 class sections operating in person this semester at this university, the email read, and single positive cases have been reported in fewer than 4 percent of sections, since September 21.
Only 0.12 percent of all class sections have reported more than one case within a one-week period, Marinopoulos wrote. He added that the data indicates that viral spread is extremely unlikely to be occurring in classroom settings.
The health center will no longer send general notification letters when individuals test positive for COVID-19 in classrooms and other settings, Marinopoulos wrote. The health center started sending general notification letters in the fall 2020 semester to those who were in a shared space but not in close contact with someone who tested positive.
The health center will continue to send letters to those who are confirmed close contacts of an individual who tested positive based on its early contact identification process, as well as notifications in cases when clusters or outbreaks are identified, according to the email.