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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nico Washington, Chief Operating Officer (email@example.com). Thank you for your attention.
Dr. Stewart Edelstein
USG Executive Director