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Q&A with John Fox: Residential Life responds with preparations for the COVID-19 pandemic

We corresponded with John Fox, the University of Maryland, Baltimore Country’s director of Residential Life, to get some answers about Residential Life logistics for the two weeks after spring break. Here are his answers from a recent email communication. All information in brackets “[]” have been added by The Retriever.

What will be the level of access to dorms/apartments? 

Only approved students will have access to residence halls and apartments.

Will students be able to access academic buildings?

As of today [March 12], academic buildings will remain open (with the exception of spring break) and accessible. However, students are not encouraged to return to campus unless they have an extenuating circumstance [link added by The Retriever].

Are you disinfecting the dorms? If so, how should students be preparing their rooms?

All common areas of the dorms and apartments are being disinfected daily using an elevated cleaning protocol. This protocol was implemented to prevent the spread of influenza and is also effective against COVID-19. It includes additional special cleaning materials (Virex TB) that eliminate [the] virus from surfaces such as counters, doors, etc. Individual rooms will not be disinfected.

What will card-swipe be like for students?

At this time we are limiting card access to students approved to stay in the residence halls. Students who are not approved but need to access residence halls for urgent reasons should contact residence life to request permission before they visit campus.

Will Residential Life staff be available? How will student employees like RAs, MAs, Desk Staffers and Desk Managers be affected?

Residential Life is adopting a modified duty structure focused more [on] professional staff so that student staff can go home. We will be operating but on a reduced schedule to protect the health and safety of students and staff.