COVID-19 Updates

BSU is open. An initial plan to return to campus in the fall 2020 semester is now available.

Coronavirus Updates


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Bowie State University is monitoring the global spread of the novel coronavirus, which has caused outbreaks of respiratory disease (COVID-19). The university is closely following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the University System of Maryland (USM). The university is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. Check this webpage for the latest university-wide updates.

Testing & Reporting

Additional Information

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this novel (new) coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.  The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). Source: CDC

  • The virus is thought to be transmitted from person-to-person in close contact (about 6 feet). The virus may be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and produces respiratory droplets that infect a nearby person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic; however, some spread might be possible before people show symptoms. Source: CDC

  • Symptoms, which can appear from 2 -14 days after exposure, include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, body aches and stomach pains.  If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus (COVID-19) or in an area with increased number of cases, contact a health professional.
  • The Wellness Center and the Emergency Response Team at BSU are coordinating with Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland Health Department to recommend precautionary measures including:

    • Frequent washing of hands with soap and water for 20 seconds,
    • Cover your cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues away and wash hands,
    • Eat healthy foods,
    • Get rest and adequate sleep,
    • Reduce stress,
    • Limit tobacco products such as smoking and
    • Avoid others when sick and avoid those who are sick.

    BSU is cleaning high traffic areas more frequently, wiping down surfaces in buildings, dining areas, common areas and residence halls.  BSU is also providing sanitizing wipes in labs for keyboards and work spaces.  BSU will be installing additional hand sanitizer units around campus and making soap readily available in restrooms.

  • If you have a fever, and symptoms of a respiratory illness such as cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath:

    • Do not attend classes, work or university events. Avoid contact with others. Stay home except when seeking medical care.
    • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Stay well hydrated and drink fluids.
    • Cover your cough and sneeze. Avoid close contact with others.
    • Before you go to the Wellness Center 301-860-4170, a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and inform the clinic about your symptoms, recent travel or exposure to illness. Follow medical provider’s instructions to keep yourself and others safe.
    • Contact your professors to arrange accommodations for missing classes for a temporary time period.
    • The Wellness Center has developed a triage telephone protocol and in-person screening process to help identify possible cases of coronavirus to provide optimal care for those with symptoms and to protect the BSU community.
    • The Wellness Center is located on the ground floor of the Christa McAuliffe Residence Hall.
    • Housing and Residence Life staff will work closely with Wellness Center Staff to monitor suspected cases and to support the residential student community. If the Health Department deems isolation necessary, we will make arrangements based on their recommendations.
    • Students who live close enough to return home might be advised to do that for the duration of their illness.
    • BSU will provide support and accommodations for international students and those who live too far to get home easily.
    • Dining Services can provide meals if you live on campus and you’re too ill to eat in the dining hall.
  • If you have a fever and symptoms of a respiratory illness such as a cough:

    • Do not attend work or university events. Avoid contact with others. Stay home except when seeking medical care
    • Faculty should report your illness to your department chair and staff should report to your director or AVP
    • Wash your hands often
    • Avoid close contact with others and observe cough etiquette-cover your cough.

    If you have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath:

    • -Seek medical attention.

    Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.  Anne Arundel Medical Center, Southern Maryland Hospital and Holy Cross have the ability to conduct COVID-testing.

  • Individuals with health conditions who are considered to be a high risk for coronavirus complications should make arrangements to remain out of class and away from work.

    • BSU has canceled classes March 12 and 13th. All classes from March 23 to April 6th will be conducted online.
    • Disability Services will work with immunocompromised students and their instructors to develop proactive plans if the virus is found near campus and students no longer feel safe attending classes.
    • Faculty who are at high risk should convert their coursework to alternative online teaching to avoid contact with sick individuals.
    • Staff who are at high risk should contact their supervisor to discuss telework options or accommodations to maintain social distancing while at work.
  • Coronavirus can be transmitted through contaminated objects such as doorknobs, faucets, chair handles and the virus can live on surfaces up to 9 days.

    • Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces with soap and water followed by disinfectant such as Lysol or bleach
    • Wear gloves when cleaning
    • Use unexpired diluted household bleach solutions (1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water), alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol and most common EPA registered household disinfectants.
    • Follow product directions.
    • Do not mix cleaning solutions.
    • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily in household common areas such as tables, chairs, light switches, doorknobs, handles, counters, desks, toilets and sinks.
    • Wash your hands after removing gloves.