Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Preparedness Letter to USG Community

January 31, 2020

Dear USG Campus Community:

All of you are likely aware that federal, state and local health officials are closely monitoring the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei, Province China. There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maryland or within the University System of Maryland community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the coronavirus a serious but not immediate health risk to the general American public. Please visit the CDC’s Coronavirus web page to obtain national and international updates. You may also visit to see the latest updates and information provided by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human

Information (provided by the CDC) for People Who Have Recently Traveled to China, or Who Have Had Contact With a Person Who Has Traveled to China:

  • If you have recently traveled to Hubei Province/China (or have had contact with someone who has) and are experiencing fever (greater than 100˚F or 37.8˚C), cough, or difficulty breathing, report immediately to the nearest hospital emergency department. If possible, call ahead to alert the facility of your symptoms and travel history. When you arrive at the facility, notify personnel immediately of your symptoms and travel history. 

Information for People with Underlying Health Conditions or Who Take Medicines that Suppress Their Immune System:  

  • If you are experiencing a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, visit your healthcare provider immediately. 
  • Get your yearly flu shot to prevent complications. 

Information for Everyone:
USG will increase cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms in our campus buildings and will add additional hand sanitizing stations throughout campus to aid individuals’ efforts to maintain hygiene that reduces transmission of viruses. As a best practice for overall health in cold and influenza season, the CDC recommends that individuals receive the influenza vaccination and engage in everyday, preventative measures to prevent the spread  of germs and avoid illness, such as: 

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. 
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.  The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever (i.e., chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance). 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed.
  • Anyone with questions or concerns regarding the coronavirus may call the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services to speak with a nurse at the Dennis Avenue Health Center. The telephone number to call is 240-777-1755, Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm. 

One final note:  In addition to the information we are providing students, faculty and staff on the USG campus, you may also be receiving helpful communications about the coronavirus directly from your home institutions. Please be sure to keep yourself informed as new information or guidance becomes available on this important health matter.


Stewart Edelstein, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, USM
Executive Director, USG
The Universities at Shady Grove



Flu Preparedness Letter to USG Community

October 30, 2014 

  • The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) response to the seasonal flu will be managed by the Incident Response Team (IRT). The IRT will meet as needed as issues unfold.
  • USG will be remain in contact with Montgomery County health officials, and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). UMCP's Director of the University Health Center will be consulted with for issues related to this and all other health emergencies, including contact with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information please click here.
  • The campus will rely on the USG homepage and text message system to post regular updates on campus conditions. We encourage you to enroll in the Omnilert Campus Text Alert System. The University has existing communications resources that can be mobilized for quick response as necessary. The Senior Director of Marketing and Communications will be responsible for utilizing media relations as additional means of communicating with all USG constituencies.
  • USG is a multi-institutional campus and as such must communicate with all partners, including the 9 University System of Maryland (USM) institutions, USM Administration, Montgomery College and the Montgomery County Public School system that offer classes at the campus, as well as, conference clients on a case-by-case basis.


  • Have hand sanitizer dispensers in all buildings near the main entrances, library, café and conference center.
  • Encourage faculty, staff and students to promote good hygiene habits by handwashing, and carrying their own hand sanitizer.
  • Maximize the number of people vaccinated for the seasonal flu.
  • Have high-touch water fountains, bathrooms and doorknobs sanitized with the recommended appropriate cleaning supplies periodically throughout the day.


  • Provide educational posters relating to hygiene (e.g., hand washing, cough etiquette) for public spaces frequented by large numbers of faculty, staff and students. Provide fact sheet on flu prevention strategies to USG community.
  • During the fall semester, work with partner campuses to have peer educators at display tables by the USG Café to distribute hygiene information and answer questions.

Continuation of Service

  • The COO will serve as the point of contact if circumstances warrant that we modify or cancel classes.  The COO will coordinate with members of the APAC (Academic Program Advisory Committee) as well as all senior leaders at USG.
  • Each division at USG will be encouraged to establish a phone tree communication system so that staff members can be notified efficiently if there is a need to change or modify operating hours.
  • Have all units consider how they will function/provide services with fewer staff, noting restrictions of hours and service levels if necessary.


  • USG does not have an onsite health center. As such, all individuals utilizing the campus should seek treatment from their individual health providers.

Additional Resources


Jessica Nardi
Director of Administration
Phone: 301.738.6324

John Brandt
Safety & Security Manager
Phone: 301-738-6021

We need to hear from YOU!!

Please send us your suggestions/comments/concerns about safety and security on our campus.