The University of Maryland reported a record-breaking 135 new positive cases from 1067 on-campus tests on Thursday.
The latest numbers break the previous day’s record of 98 reported cases from on-campus testing.
University President Darryll Pines announced Thursday evening that final exams would proceed as scheduled, with students being required to wear KN95 masks for in-person exams. The university canceled all winter commencement activities, and dining halls and Stamp Student Union food court transitioned exclusively to carry-out.
More than 4,200 university community members have signed a petition that began circulating Thursday to move the remainder of final exams online. The SGA and undergraduate University Senators have condemned the decision to keep exams in person.
“Students are concerned about the safety of themselves, their peers, their families, and their local communities as we approach winter break; they cannot, in good conscience, risk spreading COVID-19 to others, especially to high-risk family members,” read a letter from the undergraduate senators to the university administrators.
Towson and Bowie State universities – both University System of Maryland institutions – have shifted final exams online. A growing number of universities nationwide, including Cornell University, George Washington University and Princeton University, have also canceled in-person activities and moved final exams online.