COVID-19 Updates and Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Aug. 9, 2021


Masks/Campus

KEY POINT: In accordance with the CDC recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission and consistent with our commitment to follow health and science guidelines, FSU is requiring masks to be worn indoors when in the presence of others by everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status, effective August 10, 2021. Most counties in Maryland, including Allegany County, and many throughout the country have community transmission levels listed as "substantial" or higher by the CDC.

What will the masking policy be on campus in the fall? Will those with a vaccine exemption be asked to wear a mask or undergo testing?
UPDATED: FSU is requiring masks to be worn indoors when in the presence of others by everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status, effective August 10, 2021

Assuming we go back to in-person lectures at full room capacity, will the policy for labs be any different? Specifically, will we have restrictions on student group work (i.e., number of people in the group or how closely they can work together; some lab activities put people closer together than you would be normally in conversation)?
At this time, class/section size expectations are consistent with pre-pandemic levels. Instructors retain the flexibility to determine the size of groups and the learning activities conducted to meet the needs of the course.

Will (and if so, when) will performing arts be able to work without masks/social distancing?
We continue to follow the state pandemic orders and guidance. Currently, theatres are open for performances. Unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff will be expected to wear a mask inside and on campus when social distancing is not possible.

If I’m vaccinated do I have to wear a mask and socially distance in the fall?
UPDATED: FSU is requiring masks to be worn indoors when in the presence of others by everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status, effective Aug. 10, 2021


Vaccinations/Mandate

KEY POINT: By USM requirement, proof of being fully vaccinated or having an approved exemption is required for all FSU students and employees on campus for the fall 2021 semester. Upload/provide information on the FSU COVID-19 portal. Read more about the vaccination requirement.

Will students or employees with a religious exemption to vaccines be allowed on campus?
Yes, students and employees with religious exemptions will be permitted on campus. Religious exemptions are protected under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Non-vaccinated individuals are subject regular testing as part of FSU’s testing protocol.

Will all faculty, staff or students be aware of who is or is not vaccinated on campus?
No. At this time, healthcare data is under the authority of the Brady Health Center and Human Resources. We remain diligent to work with USM for official legal guidance if anything changes. FSU will continue to require mandatory immunization records of students as codified by state law, while maintaining FERPA and HIPPA protections under the law. Additionally, anyone may wear a mask anywhere on campus as they feel comfortable to protect themselves.

To what extent will faculty be expected to enforce the vaccination requirement?
Faculty will not be expected to enforce vaccination requirement. Non-compliance with vaccination requirements will be addressed by Human Resources and Student Affairs.

What are the criteria for a religious exemption or any non-health-related exemption? Are there forms?
This information is currently available for those seeking the exemptions through the COVID-19 Check-In portal.

Is Frostburg State's vaccination policy the same for union and non-union employees? If not, how and why do they differ?
Vaccination/exemption compliance is required for all employees. Frostburg State University continues discussion with our collective bargaining units regarding vaccination and exemption policies.

Are Frostburg State's vaccination policies the same as, say, College Park's and Towson's? If not, how and why do they differ?
Each institution has the latitude to craft policies and procedures regarding compliance.

Is there a vaccination mandate for those on campus this fall?
Yes. The Chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) announced in April that all students, faculty and staff on USM campuses are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 virus for the fall semester. You can read the full text of his remarks here. Additional information about the USM mandate can be found here.

What documentation do I have to provide to prove I’ve been vaccinated? Are exemptions permitted?
Specifics about providing proof of vaccination, including applying for exemptions based on medical or religious reasons, can be found here.


Testing/Tracking Health/Check-ins

KEY POINT: All unvaccinated individuals will be required to comply with the University's testing protocol for fall 2021. Details of that protocol have yet to be finalized, but regular testing will be required.

Regardless of masking or vaccination, will symptomatic students be quarantined and tested? Will faculty be able to ask students to leave if they are symptomatic and not masked?
Students who live on campus and test positive and/or are symptomatic, pending test results, will quarantine in a designated campus space. Students should continue to monitor their health daily through the COVID-19 Check-In portal and assume personal responsibility for their symptom management and staying home accordingly.

What is the policy for students, faculty and staff who have one or more COVID-19 symptoms? Is it the same as last year — they are to stay home and quarantine for 10 days? Or has the policy changed?
Students and employees should continue to monitor their health daily through the COVID-19 Check-In portal and assume personal responsibility for their symptom management and staying home accordingly. Employees who become symptomatic should see their healthcare provider. Students can seek services through Brady Health. Current CDC guidance on quarantine: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html

Will faculty be expected to accommodate students who are sick with COVID via online formats?
Faculty should adhere to the guidelines in the catalog regarding how to handle ill students. See Absences for Health Issues, Bereavement and Other Emergencies in UG Catalog (page 29).

In light of news relating to the new virus variants, what metrics will be used to make sure that the campus virus rates remain low throughout the semester? And what will be done if infection rates rise?
Multiple COVID indicators are tracked and assessed continually by the COVID Response and Recovery Team. (Examples include: incidence and prevalence rate, positivity rate, case clustering from contract tracing, testing capacity, BHS capacity, Quarantine/Isolation capacity, Adherence to Public Health Protective Factors, Local conditions, etc.)

Will testing continue in the fall given that no vaccine is 100% effective and at least some faculty, staff, and students will not be vaccinated?
Testing will be required for all unvaccinated campus constituents who received a medical or religious exemption. Vaccinated constituents who become symptomatic should see their healthcare provider (students can seek services through the Brady Health Center).

Are we now and will we in the fall still be required to complete the COVID-19 Check-in?
Yes.

Is there a chance that we will NOT be returning to normal, face-to-face classes?
At this time, the fall 2021 semester will look like fall 2019 as much as possible.

What should instructors do and will there be a general blanket policy across the board if a student comes to an instructor and says they don’t feel comfortable attending class in person?
Course modality expectations are clear at registration. There will not be a blanket attendance policy beyond the attendance policy in the catalog. Students who do not feel comfortable attending class in person should work with their advisors to select courses from FSU’s available online offerings.


Compliance

KEY POINT: Individuals who are non-compliant with the mandate will be contacted by the appropriate departments (Student Affairs for students and Human Resources for employees). Individuals will be subject to personnel and student discipline processes. Specific information will be provided to the individuals.


Residence Life

KEY POINT: Students in the campus residence halls or Edgewood Commons will not receive their keys to check-in unless they are in compliance with the university's vaccination requirement (uploaded vaccination records or approved medical or religious exemption prior to arrival). More information about move-in, vaccinations, roommates, etc., is available here.


Dining

KEY POINT: All individuals on campus are expected to wear a mask indoors when not actively eating or drinking.


Student Athletes

KEY POINT: All student-athletes have been receiving information about providing their proof of vaccination/exemption requests. Reach out to your coach for details and more information.


Events and Visitors

KEY POINT: Visitors to campus should continue to verify their health through the FSU COVID-19 Check-In portal or through posted COVID-19 health verification questions. All visitors must wear a mask when indoors or when social distancing is not possible. FSU welcomes attendees and spectators for events, activities and athletic events.

When will places like the theatres, the Manicur Assembly Hall, etc., be open to the public for live performances and what, if any, restrictions will there be?
We continue to follow the state pandemic orders and guidance. Theatres are currently open. All community members are expected to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. They are also expected to check in via the app or agree to symptom check language posted at events.

Will there be special requirements for community members visiting campus?
All community members are expected to wear a mask indoors. They are also expected to check in via the app or agree to symptom check language posted at events.

Can performing arts (and others) begin marketing ticket sales to the community?
Yes.

If we are planning an event with 8-12 graders in January 2022, are there protocols we need to follow?
Submit plan via VP to Recovery Team to review. Conditions and guidance are subject to change at any time.


Summer Guidance 

Do I need to be tested if I am on campus this summer?
Our surveillance testing protocol has been paused for the summer. Eligible summer session students as well as employees under contract are expected to continue to monitor their health every day and verify their status each business day through the Check-In Portal. Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact the Brady Health Center. Employees should contact their health care provider.

Do I need to wear a mask if I am on campus this summer?
UPDATED: FSU is requiring masks to be worn indoors when in the presence of others by everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status, effective August 10, 2021.

What about social distancing on campus this summer?
While no longer required, individuals should choose to avoid overly crowded locations and monitor their physical proximity to others when appropriate.