COVID-19 Information and Guidance

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is committed to maintaining a safe environment for our community.

We encourage everyone to remain vigilant about safety protocols as described below. We will follow CDC Guidance for IHE’s and the USM Chancellor’s Vaccine Mandate.

Please check this page regularly for updated information.


August 13, 2021

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Greetings Hawk Family!

As we head into the fall semester in a few short weeks, like you, I am watching the developments of the Delta variant closely, as well as emerging CDC guidance.  As I am sure you have heard, this variant is more aggressive and much more transmissible than previously circulating strains, and is now responsible for more than 80 percent of infections in the United States.  According to the CDC, the virus is spreading largely among the population of unvaccinated people.

While the overall vaccination rates for Maryland are above average, rates among residents of Somerset County are some of the lowest in the state. We must continue to stay vigilant and work together to mitigate the risk of the spread on our campus.

For the health and safety of our campus community, and per the USM mandate, vaccinations are required for all faculty, students, and staff returning to campus this fall.  Exemptions may be requested for religious or medical reasons only. The exemption forms are available here.

Based on CDC and health information provided by USM experts, the UMES campus has updated our health and safety guidelines:

UMES will continue masking in all indoor common areas, however there are no current restrictions on physical distancing. 

Any campus events that will bring 20 or more outside people to campus, should require proof of vaccination and/or a negative test within three (3) days of the campus event.  Please submit the event form for approval at least 2 weeks prior to the event.  Please ask your Dean or Leadership for a copy of the form and consider if an in-person event is in everyone’s best interest.

Beginning August 23, UMES will hold twice weekly testing for all employees who remain unvaccinated – regardless of exemption status.  All vaccinated employees will be required to have testing at least once per month, and are welcome to test more frequently if they feel it’s necessary.

Every office must have sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes in their general office areas. Please submit a work order for any needed PPE, to the Physical Plant for delivery to your area.

For additional information, contact Human Resources and/or your department’s leadership.

Failure to follow the COVID regulations will result in progressive discipline for all employees. 

Science has proven that vaccinations will slow the spread of all variants and reduce the odds that new, even more dangerous variants emerge.  If you are already vaccinated, encourage your family, friends and neighbors to do the same.

With Hawk Pride,

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