USG RETURN TO CAMPUS PLANNING FRAMEWORK

Important Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At this time, the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) is continuing to provide all services remotely and campus buildings are not open to the public.

This is in accordance with directives from the State of Maryland and the University System of Maryland (USM), which are intended to protect the health of all USG community members and minimize opportunities for community spread of the virus.

Event Cancellations

All events at USG have been canceled or postponed until further notice. These cancellations extend both to USG-sponsored events and to events on campus that are hosted by other organizations and scheduled through the USG Conference and Events office.

Classes/Services

During the summer, all of USG’s nine partner universities will be providing their classes through remote and online instruction.

  • Students and faculty at USG will receive specific information from their home universities with details about class schedules and how remote/online instruction will be provided and accessed.
  • USG staff are working remotely to provide remote/online services for students, faculty and university staff, and to support business operations. Please consult departmental pages on the USG website for details and look for periodic updates via email and other USG communication vehicles.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we urge all members of the USG community to:

  • Remain vigilant in their individual efforts to protect themselves and others against the spread of the virus.
  • Follow the guidelines of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), as well as all directives of our state and county officials.
  • Follow the USG website for any updates and to make sure you have registered to receive USG Alerts.
  • Visit the webpages of the Priddy Library, Student Services, Information Technology and the Conference Center to get more information.
COVID-19 April 6 Update

April 6, 2020

Dear USG Community:

We have been notified about a member of the USG community having tested positive for COVID-19. The community member affected has received medical care and is at home, with some of the symptoms of the illness.

The affected community member reported on March 23 about having symptoms consistent with the novel Coronavirus and was later tested for confirmation. We learned over the weekend that the community member had tested positive. The community member has not been on the USG campus since March 12, the last day the campus was physically open.

As this is the first case that we can confirm of a USG community member who tested positive for COVID-19, we wanted to alert you about this confirmation. Moving forward – especially with staff, faculty and students all working or studying remotely under the current stay-at-home orders – it may not be possible or practical for USG to monitor and report on individual cases of COVID-19 involving USG community members.

We know this is a difficult time for everyone. But we urge all members of the USG community to remain vigilant in doing all you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please be sure to follow the stay-at-home directives of the State of Maryland and be aware of the most up-to-date CDC guidelines.

Thank you for your attention.

Dr. Stewart Edelstein, USG Executive Director

COVID-19 March 20 Update

Important USG Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 20, 2020

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues to evolve, the Universities at Shady Grove will be offering services remotely through the end of the spring semester. While USG remains open with remote/online services, campus buildings will not be open to the public through at least May 31.

This is in accordance with directives from the State of Maryland and the University System of Maryland (USM), which are intended to protect the health of all USG community members and minimize opportunities for community spread of the virus.

Events Cancellations

All events at USG that were scheduled through May 31 will be canceled or postponed.

These cancellations extend both to USG-sponsored events – including the USG Graduation Celebration that was planned for May 7 – and to events on campus that are hosted by other organizations and scheduled through the USG Conference and Events office.

Classes/Services

For the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, all of USG’s nine partner universities will be providing their classes through remote and online instruction.

  • Students and faculty at USG will receive specific information from their home universities with details about class schedules and how remote/online instruction will be provided and accessed.
  • Meanwhile, USG staff will be working remotely to provide remote/online services for students, faculty and university staff, and to support business operations. Please consult departmental pages on the USG website for details and look for periodic updates via email and other USG communication vehicles.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, as a reminder:   

  • We urge all members of the USG community to remain vigilant in their individual efforts to protect themselves and others against the spread of the virus.
  • We urge all of you to continue to follow the guidelines of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), as well as all directives of our state and county officials.
  • We also urge you to follow the USG website for any updates on services and to make sure you have registered to receive USG Alerts.
  • Visit the webpages of the Priddy Library, Student Services, Information Technology and the Conference Center to get more information.

We know this is a difficult time for everyone, but want to assure you that all of the actions we are taking at this time are aimed at ensuring we are doing all we can to protect the health and safety of everyone within our community.

Special thanks to all of the USG staff and to the faculty and staff from our partner universities who have been working so hard throughout this crisis. Thanks to your tireless efforts, even in these challenging times, we are finding innovative ways to carry out our important mission and to best serve the needs of students, faculty, staff and the entire USG community.

Thank you all for your attention once again on this important matter. My very best to each of you and your families.

Dr. Stewart Edelstein
USG Executive Director & USM Associate Vice Chancellor

COVID-19 March 12 Update

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, USG buildings will not be open through March 27

March 12, 2020

While the campus buildings will not be open during this time, USG staff are teleworking and providing access to services remotely until on-site facilities are reopened.

As the situation continues to evolve, we urge all members of the USG community to check our website for updates on how to access services.

We also urge you to be sure you have registered to receive USG Alerts.

We will provide additional information on how to access services remotely as it becomes available. Thank you.

COVID-19 March 10 Update

Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update to USG Community

March 10, 2020

Here at the Universities at Shady Grove, we are continuing to monitor a wide range of issues associated with the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We are working in close collaboration with the University System of Maryland (USM) and with our nine partner universities that offer classes at USG, in order to ensure we take all necessary precautions to protect students, faculty, staff and guests within our campus community. At the same time, we are working to do all we can to allow the teaching and learning process to continue as best as possible.

Today, USM Chancellor Jay Perman provided recommended guidelines to universities around the state regarding class instruction and other operations on university campuses over the next several weeks. This includes next week, which is spring break for each of the universities.

In his statement, Dr. Perman noted:

I strongly urge every university to prepare for students to remain off campus—for at least two weeks—following the end of spring break. (USM spring break begins Saturday, March 14, and ends Sunday, March 22.) During those two weeks or longer, all USM universities should be prepared to deliver instruction remotely.

Given this guidance, I understand that USM presidents may need to cancel classes one or more days this week so that students, faculty, and staff can plan for this change in schedule post-spring break. Preparation for campus departures and online instruction will vary among universities, and each USM president therefore has discretion to ensure that faculty and staff have adequate time to set these plans in motion. While this means that some classes may be canceled this week, all campuses will remain open before, during, and after spring break.

As a result of this guidance, all of the universities within USM – including the nine universities that operate and offer classes at USG – are determining and announcing their own specific plans regarding  class schedules and the move to online delivery for all possible classes during the two-week period following spring break, from March 23- April 6.

Some -- but not all – of the universities within USM have announced the cancellation of classes for the rest of this week, in order to allow them to prepare for transitioning to online class instruction and service delivery. We urge the students, faculty and university program staff who are at USG to consult with their universities or check their email and websites for additional details about how online classes and instructional services will be delivered by each individual university.

While the USG campus remains open at this time, this public health crisis continues to evolve rapidly and we urge all of our students, faculty and staff to be prepared in advance for the possibility of further changes in daily operations and/or services on campus. Per the university system’s guidance, we are not encouraging students to come to USG during spring break next week or during the two-week period that follows. We are working on plans to deliver as many of our services for students online during that time and will make that information available on our website.

We will continue to keep the USG community updated with additional information as it becomes available. Thank you once again for your attention on this important matter.

Dr. Stewart Edelstein
USG Executive Director

COVID-19 March 6 Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update to USG Community

March 6, 2020

The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) is continuing to monitor the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), working in close collaboration with the University System of Maryland (USM), our nine university partners, and state and local officials.

Our primary concern, as always, is the health and well-being of the students, faculty, staff and guests here on our campus. We are committed to keeping you informed about the steps and precautions we are taking to ensure your safety and to plan for any possible scenarios that may cause us to consider modifying our daily operations on campus.

Three Cases Reported in Montgomery County

As was announced by Governor Hogan on March 5, the State of Maryland has confirmed that there are three positive cases of the virus within the state, each involving individuals who reside in Montgomery County. The three affected individuals were reported to have contracted the virus while traveling overseas. They are said to be in good condition and are self-isolating themselves in their own homes, while remaining in regular contact with health officials.

It is important to note that each of the three cases involved individuals who had recently traveled out of the country. There are still no reported cases of the Coronavirus within the region that have resulted from what health officials refer to as “community spread.” There are also no known cases of the virus involving anyone within any of the USM university campuses in Maryland, including here at USG.

Once again, we want to urge everyone to remain vigilant in taking precautions to protect yourselves and others from the possible spread of COVID-19. We hope you will keep yourselves informed on the most-up-to-date advice and guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as noted on the CDC website.

Key Resources for Information on COVID-19

Precautionary Measures Being Taken

As noted in our previous communications, we at USG are taking a number of preventative steps to protect those within our campus community. We have asked our housekeeping team to increase the cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms in our campus buildings. We have also added more hand-sanitizing stations throughout the 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 illnesses. Among the recommended tips:

  • 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.
  • If you are sick, please stay home and rest. If you are sick and have a fever, the CDC recommends that individuals remain home for an additional 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever. 
  • 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.

In the event that any change in our operations was needed, we want to remind you of USG’s standard procedures for alerting our community of any closings, delayed openings, or any other schedule changes, whether it is due to inclement weather or any type of emergency. 

USG Procedures for Emergency Notifications
We want to remind you that for any emergency notifications, USG announces such information through the following USG communication channels:

One final note:  In addition to the information we are providing students, faculty and staff on the USG campus, many of you may also be receiving helpful communications about the coronavirus directly from your home institutions. These communications include travel guidelines and/or recommendations for students, faculty or staff who may be participating in study abroad programs or spring break travels.

If you have any additional questions about any issues at USG in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please contact either John Brandt, Safety and Security Manager (jbrandt@umd.edu) or Nico Washington, Chief Operating Officer (nico@umd.edu). Thank you for your attention.

Dr. Stewart Edelstein
USG Executive Director

COVID-19 March 3 Update

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Preparedness Letter to USG Community

March 3, 2020

Dear USG Campus Community:

We are continuing to work closely with the University System of Maryland, our partner universities and officials in Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services to monitor the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. To keep apprised on any issues related to COVID-19, we have established an internal task force comprised of representatives from USG departments that are working in conjunction with USM and the County.

As of this time, there are still no confirmed cases of the virus anywhere within the university system, the state of Maryland or the greater Washington metropolitan region.

With that said, new information continues to come out each day about the spread of the virus, both internationally and within the United States. We urge everyone within the USG community to remain vigilant in taking precautions to protect yourself and others, and to follow the most up-to-date advice and guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This important information can be found on the CDC website.

The CDC has also made updates, in recent weeks, to the guidelines regarding travel outside the U.S.

For the latest local updates and information, we also urge you to check the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services website.

As noted in our last communication, here at USG, we are taking a number of preventative steps to protect those within our campus community. We have asked our housekeeping team to increase the cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms in our campus buildings. We have also added more hand-sanitizing stations throughout the 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 illnesses. Among the recommended tips:

  • 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.
  • If you are sick, please stay home and rest. If you are sick and have a fever, the CDC recommends that individuals remain home for an additional 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever. 
  • 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 COVID-19 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. These communications include travel guidelines and information for students who may be participating in opportunities to study abroad, particularly in countries that have seen higher numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Please be sure to keep yourself informed as any new information or guidance becomes available on this important health matter. We will continue to keep you monitored if there is any change in the situation that would impact the USG campus community. The home page of the USG website has been updated to include a link to the latest updates.

If you have any additional questions about any issues at USG in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please contact either John Brandt, Safety and Security Manager (jbrandt@umd.edu) or Nico Washington, Chief Operating Officer (nico@umd.edu).

Thank you for your attention.

Dr. Stewart Edelstein
USG Executive Director

COVID-19 January 31 Update

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 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html to obtain national and international updates. You may also visit  https://montgomerycountymd.gov/hhs/rightnav/coronavirus.html to see the latest updates and information provided by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human
Services.

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.


Sincerely,

Dr. Stewart Edelstein
USG Executive Director