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The University of Maryland, Baltimore County plans to release a statement later today about a community member who had been tested for COVID-19. Photo from The Retriever archives.

UMBC updates students about community members being tested for COVID-19

This article has been updated to reflect new information and for clarity.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County released a statement this afternoon about the community member who had been tested for COVID-19, as announced on March 15 in a campus-wide email, noting that there are now two UMBC community members being tested for the virus. The second individual who is being tested for the virus attended the Faculty Senate meeting on March 10. Neither community member was symptomatic while they were on campus.

In addition, the email states that beginning Thursday, March 19, “only people with explicit permission should be on campus.”

Marie Lilly, the Director of Community Engagement at UMBC has said that, after today’s statement, UMBC, under advisement from local health authorities, will no longer be releasing information about community members undergoing COVID-19 testing. UMBC will only be contacting students if there is a positive case.

“It’s a policy that most health departments are recommending, so we’re moving to be in alignment with them,” said Lilly. 

On March 16, Chancellor Jay Perman announced that the University System of Maryland would be reimbursing students if they cannot return to campus. The conversation surrounding reimbursements for housing and meal plans had been in the works between the University System of Maryland presidents since the announcement that classes would be moving online.

According to Lilly, the presidents were originally meeting via a weekly phone call, but have now moved to call three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

“It’s been a topic for quite a while now, and there’s been a commitment to respond as a system,” Lilly said.

Though there’s still a question of how to do it, Lilly said that UMBC was excited that Perman chose to share a commitment to reimbursement publicly.

UMBC students can expect to hear back about their future on campus far before April 5, said Lilly. “It’s an active conversation. We know we need to let students know early. I can’t say when, but we need to let them know soon,” Lilly said.

As of March 17, there are at least 60 cases of COVID-19 in Maryland.