Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Maryland chapter.

COVID-19 cases are increasing at the University of Maryland, but a change in the isolation policy proves to be stressful for students. 

In a recent email sent to the campus community, Sypridon S. Marinopoulus, the director of the university health center and chief medical officer, says students must isolate for five full days if they test positive. 

According to the university health center website, students who live in residence halls or fraternity and sorority houses will have to isolate at an off-campus location if they have COVID. 

In spring 2022, students who could not conveniently travel home were offered quarantine housing. Though limited, the on-campus accommodations offered refuge for out-of-state students who tested positive. 

Options are limited for students who cannot conveniently travel home. Flying home or taking the train while sick is inadvisable and can be expensive. Nearby hotels are pricey; a four-night stay at the Holiday Inn three miles from campus costs upwards of $500. 

“I don’t feel like [the new policy is] fair to out-of-state students, where are they expected to go?” sophomore journalism student Alex Marek said, who lives in Maryland. “I understand a lot of Maryland is in state, but I feel there’s a pretty decent out of state population left behind.”

In order to end isolation on day six, you must be fever-free for at least 24 hours, test negative with a rapid antigen test and have improving symptoms, according to school policy. 

There are also concerns about falling behind in schoolwork due to a COVID absence. While there’s a protocol in place for short term absences of up to two weeks to help students not fall behind in class, not everyone feels confident in the policy. 

“I definitely think it’d be tough to catch up right away, so I can see why someone might hesitate to take a COVID test, especially if they’re not feeling super sick,” Hannah Scopp, a sophomore psychology and criminology major said.

Masks, testing and vaccination remain recommended, not required, for the rest of the campus community.

Lia Gorbach

Maryland '26

Lia is from Massachusetts and is pursuing a journalism and business degree at the University of Maryland.