University of Maryland issues new COVID-19 isolation policy as cases rise nationwide

University of Maryland students living on campus will need to isolate at their permanent homes or at a hotel room for five days if they test positive for COVID-19.

"Students living in residence halls or university owned fraternity and sorority houses will need to isolate at their permanent home or another off-campus location if they test positive," the university said in their updated guidance posted online. "The university does not provide designated isolation housing on campus."

The guidelines say the isolation period will begin from the date the positive test was conducted.

University guidelines say students can return to campus if they meet all the following conditions:

- Fever free without fever-reducing medication (like Tylenol or Advil) for 24 hours

- Symptoms have resolved or are steadily improving

- Test negative with a rapid antigen test on day 6 of isolation

If students meet those condition, university guidelines say they must continue to:

- Wear a well-fitted mask for any time you are around others inside your home or in public.

- Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.

- Avoid travel, and avoid being around others who are high risk.

- You should not eat in restaurants or dine with others.

- Students with a resident dining plan can request a Sick Meal to eat in their room.

If students do not meet the conditions to end isolation on day six, then they must continue to isolate for an additional five full days - for a total of 10 days of isolation - or until receiving a negative test, the updated policy says.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have been steadily increasing since late summer, although not nearly as much as this time last year, and RSV already is on the rise in parts of the Southeast.

A full list of University of Maryland guidelines can be found online.