Coronavirus Update

March 11, 2022

BSU Announces Phased Changes to COVID-19 Mask Requirement

With the health and safety of the campus community as the top priority, Bowie State University has developed a step-down approach to relaxing the mask requirement in various spaces as the rates of infection and hospitalizations continue to decrease across the state and nation. We want to thank everyone for their efforts that have allowed us to achieve a 92% vaccination rate on campus.  A phased approach will  begin this week that will allow assessment of the impact of incremental changes on the rate of positive cases among community members. The chart below outlines the timetable for changes, with the move to a fully optional mask status after spring break.


Effective Immediately

  • Mask optional in dining hall and Pub
  • Mask optional when 6 feet apart in offices
Dependent on:
  • BSU vaccination rate remains at 80% or above (currently 92%)
  • BSU positivity rate remains below 2%

Effective April 11, 2022

  • Mask optional in classrooms, residence halls and all other buildings
  • Mask required in medical areas (Wellness Center and testing facilities)
  • Badging procedures remain until further notice
Dependent on:
  • BSU vaccination rate remains at 80% or above (currently 92%)
  • BSU positivity rate remains below 2%

Return from Spring Break Testing Protocol

As many members of the campus community will travel and participate in large group activities during spring break, procedures are in place to enable everyone to take a COVID-19 test before returning to work or class. Faculty, staff and commuter students will be provided self-test kits to be used 24 hours before returning to campus. Residential students will be tested on campus prior to moving back in after the break. This testing will help assure that a low positivity rate is maintained to allow the transition to remove the indoor mask mandate.

Self-Test Kit Instructions

  • Distribution: Monday, March 14 – Friday, March 18
  • Register by texting “Test Needed” to 301-215-2044 and follow the instructions
  • Pickup Locations:
    • Student Center Ticket Window, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Thurgood Marshall Library Lobby 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Free rapid COVID tests can also be ordered at
  • Test yourself within 24 hours before returning to campus
  • If you get a positive result, upload a photo to the Wellness Center Portal showing your name and date of test, or call 301-860-4170. You must isolate for five days.

Residential Student Testing

Residential students will be tested at three locations on campus prior to being allowed back into the residence halls.

  • CMRC and ELLC: March 25-27, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • McKeldin Gym: March 26-27, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • If a positive test result occurs, the student must return home to isolate for five days. After isolation a take-home rapid test must be taken to confirm that you are negative for infection to allow you to check into the residence hall.

Residence Hall Visitation Tied to Booster Compliance

With the move toward relaxing the mask requirement, we look forward to enhanced interaction among community members. Residential students in each hall will be able to gather in common areas, but visitors from other halls will remain restricted until 95% of residents complete the booster shot. Inter-hall visitation privileges will be granted by hall as compliance is achieved beginning April 11.

Individual Choice, Individual Responsibility, Protection for All

We understand that some people may be more comfortable continuing to wear a mask when in the presence of others. This individual choice should be respected as well as requests from colleagues to mask up in some enclosed spaces. Respect for individual choice and doing your part to protect your own health will become the driving factors to protect our community.

Other COVID protocols will remain in place at this time:

  • Green badge screening and testing protocols according to vaccination status
  • Testing required immediately if COVID symptoms occur
  • Isolation for five days required with a positive test

As we cautiously move forward into this new phase of the pandemic, we will remain vigilant to monitor for changes in the campus and community environments. We will be prepared to make adjustments, if needed. Please monitor your email for updates and regularly check the Coronavirus Information webpage for the latest information. If you have questions, please email