U.Md. delays in-person instruction for undergrads for two weeks

In-person instruction at the University of Maryland, College Park will be delayed for two weeks.

This is because the prevalence of COVID-19 in Maryland, and specifically in Prince George’s County, remains higher than the university had hoped for the start of the academic year in the fall.

The semester will begin as scheduled Aug. 31, but in-person undergraduate instruction will be delayed until Sept. 14.

“I know this two-week delay is disappointing, but it will permit us to phase in the resumption of on-campus activities and allow us to implement campuswide virus testing,” university President Darryll J. Pines said in a letter.

Undergraduate classes will be online for the first two weeks.

The University System of Maryland has said since May that remote learning and in-person classes will return in the fall, and Chancellor Jay A. Perman said it is sticking with the plan because there are students who need the campus environment.

The university said that it is extending the deadline for confirming housing in on-campus residence halls until Wednesday at noon to give students and their families more time to decide. The projected occupancy is less than 45%, according to the university in a news release.

On Tuesday, some students will hold a protest against being bound to fall semester lease contracts for dorms they won’t live in out of COVID-19 safety concerns.

Students citing health and safety have found themselves protesting an inability to terminate expensive lease agreements with Capstone On-Campus Management, which manages College Park’s two on-campus housing complexes, The Diamondback reported.

A number of colleges in the region, such as Georgetown, George Washington and Howard universities in D.C., and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, have said they will start the fall semester with online instruction.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this report.

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