Spring 2021 Plan and Information
COVID-19 Updates and Information

Response Level Update

Posted March 2021

In February 2020, Frostburg State University faced an unprecedented threat from a viral pandemic that would significantly impact our region, state, nation, and world. Consistent with the enduring Bobcat spirit, the institution crafted a pandemic response plan that would lead the university through the early phase of addressing the spread of COVID-19 during the initial outbreak. This was a difficult time for many with so much uncertainty. But quick action, planning, and mitigation helped reduce the risks to our campus community and allowed us to weather some of the early challenging effects of the virus.

By June, Frostburg was able to shift gears and focus attention on developing a Pandemic Recovery Plan. This phased-in plan was designed to allow the University to incrementally return to our primary mission of providing a distinctive educational experience for our students, while addressing evolving safety and scientific information. The resulting plan included multiple layers of protective measures, such as a robust testing plan and monitoring of key indicators allowed the university to provide a fall 2020 semester offering a blended modality of instruction to meet the needs of our campus.

Throughout the fall and into the new year, the flexibility of a collaborative Pandemic Recovery Plan that reflected evolving guidance and research has proven valuable. The University made decisions fully informed by national, state, and local health organizations, as well as guidance from the Governor of Maryland and the Chancellor for the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents.

For the spring 2021 semester, students, faculty, and staff returned to a campus that continues to demonstrate our commitment to risk mitigation, including a plan to triple the number of tests we administered in the fall. Over the last two months, as key indicators have improved, there are meaningful signs of emerging from the pandemic. The rollout of vaccines across the nation, state, and region has provided hope that we can cautiously continue our recovery.

Throughout the fall and early spring semester, we have remained in FSU Pandemic Recovery Level II. As we continue to monitor our key indicators in real-time, we are also cognizant of the Governor’s most recent Executive Order from March 9 that authorizes new guidelines moving Maryland back toward more normal circumstances, but with remaining cautions about masking, distancing, and other safety measures firmly in place. Consistent with this guidance and the improvements in state and local conditions, our Reopening & Recovery Committee will be considering recommendations for incrementally increasing our Pandemic Recovery Level over the next few weeks.

This team will continue to work with our 14 institutional pandemic work groups to consider engineering controls, facility capacity and our public health protective measures concerning how our Recovery Level may progress to return to a more “normal” campus this fall. We have already started looking at our capacity levels for some events consistent with the Governor’s orders, but will approach each decision with an appropriate level of informed caution moving forward. Expect more information throughout the spring and summer.