A Message from the President

March 6, 2020

Bowie State University Coronavirus Update

In the face of the announcement yesterday of the first confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Maryland and Governor Larry Hogan’s declaration of a State of Emergency, I want to assure the Bowie State University community that the safety of our students, faculty and staff are our highest priority. We have been actively monitoring the developing situation and preparing for actions to protect the health and safety of all in our community. We are working closely with the University System of Maryland and local and state public health officials for guidance and support.

Today I have activated our Emergency Response Team that will implement the various actions required for the university to effectively manage this crisis situation. Mr. Anthony Savia, vice president for Administration and Finance will lead the university response team in close consultation with Dr. April Johnson, acting vice president for Student Affairs, and Dr. Rita Wutoh, director of the Wellness Center. The university is currently maintaining normal operations, following the guidance of the USM and state of Maryland officials.

Information on Cases in Maryland

On March 5, the Maryland State Public Health Laboratory reported that three persons in Montgomery County were confirmed positive for coronavirus. The individuals had traveled together internationally and are now quarantined at home, reportedly doing well. In response to this development, the State of Emergency in Maryland has activated resources and coordination of state agencies. Governor Hogan is advising people to remain calm and to continue to go to school and work.

University-wide Preparedness Actions

The university is already implementing a number of precautions to prevent the spread influenza and other communicable diseases. These include:

  • Elevated cleaning and sanitizing protocols, particularly for high traffic areas
  • Preventive education posters distributed across the campus
  • Increased communications, including regular update to a coronavirus information webpage

As a precautionary measure to protect the safety of the campus, please note effective immediately, we are suspending all international travel until further notice. In light of the fast evolving coronavirus situation, we also strongly recommend that students, faculty and staff carefully consider any non-essential domestic travel.  

Recommended Safety Guidelines

As we move through the coming days, we want to remind all members of our community to adhere to the following health and safety tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (see this CDC video for proper hand-washing technique)
  • Use hand sanitizer if water is not available
  • Avoid direct contact through shaking hands or kissing
  • If you are sick, stay home to prevent spreading disease to others
  • If you have symptoms that include fever, cough or shortness of breath, please contact your health provider. Students may contact the Wellness Center at 301-860-4170 or use the Patient Portal to schedule an appointment.
  • Community members who have underlying health conditions or are 65 or older and are experiencing cold or flu symptoms should call their health provider immediately.

I want assure you all that the university is moving forward with plans to keep our campus community safe. I encourage you to refer to updates on the coronavirus information webpage and regular email updates as new developments arise.