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UMD to delay start of in person instruction until September 14

A letter on the decision was sent from the school to students, faculty and staff Monday afternoon.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Maryland System will delay the start of in person instruction at its colleges until September 14 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. A letter on the decision was sent from the school to students, faculty and staff Monday afternoon.

"For many reasons, it will be a semester like none before, but our core mission remains constant: We will deliver a world-class education from the best faculty in the country," said the university in its statement.

In the letter, the university explained that its decision was based on measurement by health officials in the state and Prince George's County. 

Prince George's County, where College Park is located, has been one of the most hard-hit counties in Maryland, and has had to start reopening at later dates than the rest of the state due to the number of cases that have been seen.

The most recent 7-day positivity rate in the county is 5.40 percent, the highest in the state.

UMD spoke that about its collection of over 600 financial grants that will allow its university system to innovative approaches to online and blended learning and find ways to create physical distancing while also giving students the social aspect of the college experience that most have been accustomed to in years past. 

As we continue our comprehensive efforts, we recognize that some aspects of virus prevention remain beyond our control. Despite aggressive and consistent efforts from state and county leadership, the prevalence of COVID-19 in the state of Maryland and in Prince George's County remains higher than we had hoped for our fall return.

"We have also worked to create a physically distant, socially-rich environment, including the resumption of activities in the Stamp Student Union, recreation and wellness programming, and a de-densified on-campus residential experience," said UMD.

The university said those with questions about resident agreements at the school and how this could impact move in dates for students, should reach out to reslife@mdu.edu.

For more on the changes to the fall semester at the University of Maryland, click here.

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