COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- The University of Maryland is moving hundreds of students to hotels after mold was reported in dorm buildings.
News outlets report more than 500 students living in Elkton Hall are being relocated to College Park hotels to allow contractors to clean every room in the building. Some students are expected to be living in hotels until early October. Mold exposure can lead to eye irritation, cold symptoms, coughing and congestion, skin rashes and the aggravation of asthma.
The Department of Resident Life told students and families last week that mold was found throughout Elkton Hall as well as isolated reports in other residence halls. The department says the issue has been exacerbated by recent weather conditions.
Department officials say the university has been working to remediate the mold.
Statement from the University of Maryland's Department of Resident Life and Department of Residential Facilities:
"The safety, health, and well-being of each and every resident is a matter of utmost concern for the Departments of Resident Life and Residential Facilities at the University of Maryland. Mold has been reported throughout Elkton Hall, as well as isolated reports in other residence halls, and the issue has been exacerbated in recent days due to significant rain and high humidity in our area. We recognize and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and concern this has caused our residents and their families. We want to assure students we are working as quickly as possible to eradicate the problem.
"University staff has been working around the clock to thoroughly remediate the mold. We have taken a number of steps to address the issue, including hiring contractors who specialize in mold remediation; installing commercial-grade dehumidifiers in floor hallways; conducting inspections of rooms that have reported service requests; cleaning all surfaces, and cleaning or replacing furniture. Out of an abundance of caution, we also plan to relocate Elkton Hall students, floor by floor over a number of days, to local hotels to thoroughly clean and remediate when necessary every room in the building.
"We appreciate our community's patience as we continue to respond to residents' facilities and maintenance requests 24-hours a day. We encourage all of our residents to report facilities questions or services requests to our 24-hour service center at (301) 314-9675.
"We will continue to provide updates directly to affected residents on our work related to our remediation efforts."