Return to Campus Plan

Last Updated: 7/27/2020

The college will follow a data-driven three-phase plan to gradually return to working and offering classes on campus. The plan’s goals are to protect the health of students and employees; help ensure the well-being of the community; and carefully and deliberately resume campus operations in a safe manner. The plan is not a calendar and does not have fixed dates but is a guide to show the intended path forward.

Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continue to evolve, and our policies and plans will be updated as appropriate as more information becomes available.

Core Administrative Concepts

  • Proceed thoughtfully, carefully, and deliberately.
  • Accommodate students and employees who are members of a vulnerable population or who live with someone who is a member of a vulnerable population.
  • Continue telework as much as possible.
  • Develop a return to the campus workplace plan for each administrative unit that includes:
    • Limited in-person services and hours
    • Considerations for a phased return of employees so no more than 50% of the workforce is in the office at any given time. Depending on the size and needs of the workforce, the percentage may vary.
    • Considerations for allowing those employees who can work effectively from home to be the last to return and/or delay their return to campus.
    • Public health practices: face coverings, six feet of physical distancing, cough/sneeze etiquette, hand hygiene.
    • Provisions for hand sanitizer and enhanced cleaning.
    • Instructions to customers on the physical distancing protocol.
    • Availability of remote options.
  • Be ready to adjust based on guidance from the CDC and from state and local health officials.
  • Emphasize social distancing, handwashing, staying home when sick, and use of cloth face coverings as needed.
  • Continue and build on the telework innovations developed in the last few months.
  • Be compassionate and flexible. Supervisors are asked to work with employees who have childcare or other family responsibilities and be mindful of the anxiety felt by employees.

Core Instructional and Learning Concepts

  • Offer on-campus instruction only for courses with learning outcomes that cannot be measured or achieved virtually, such as laboratory and clinical experiences.
  • Implement web-based, hybrid, and real-time technology modes of instruction for the foreseeable future.
  • Off-campus options should be planned for and available in the event that a rebound in local infections necessitates continued physical distancing and to support vulnerable students and staff, students in quarantine or isolation, and students and staff who cannot physically return to campus.
  • Limit the number of attendees for on-campus courses/sections. In all cases, on-campus courses/sections enrollment should be limited to less than 50% capacity of the classroom and also utilize other physical distancing measures. Consider creating multiple sections to reduce numbers.
  • Develop a physical distancing plan for each course that includes:
    • Number of students and faculty present in each session.
    • Length of session.
    • Nature of activities.
    • Mechanisms to conduct student and faculty symptom checks.
    • Public health practices: face coverings, six feet of physical distancing, cough/sneeze etiquette, hand hygiene.
    • Provisions for hand sanitizer and enhanced cleaning.
    • Instructions to participants on the course-specific physical distancing protocol.
    • Availability of remote options.
  • Develop specialized plans for students who are at increased risk due to the occupational nature of their studies. Examples include health professional students and students engaged in out-of-classroom or community-based instruction.
  • Expand simulation experiences to create clinical scenarios for health professional students to practice technical, diagnostic, and exam skills.
  • Develop specialized plans for courses and instruction that do not permit physical distancing and/or involve activities of higher risk.
  • Develop attendance and excused absence policies that acknowledge and support students who become ill without creating barriers and without requiring unnecessary visits to health facilities for documentation of illness.
  • Encourage faculty-student communication regarding health status and any changes in their ability to complete coursework.
  • Identify resources for students with learning disabilities or difficulties with remote learning platforms.


Changes in phases will be determined by guidance and data from the CDC, state government, and local health departments.

Phase 1 – Remote Operational Status

All instruction and most college work functions take place remotely. On-campus access restricted to authorized personnel only. Critical employees allowed on-campus in a limited capacity. Priorities include positions that are needed for campus safety, support remote learning, and/or are critical for the ongoing operation of the college.

Phase 2 – Restricted Operational Status [View Details]

Almost all instruction and most college work functions take place remotely. A limited number of on-campus instructional opportunities are offered for courses with learning outcomes that cannot be measured or achieved remotely, such as certain laboratory and clinical experiences. Most college employees continue working remotely or on-call. A limited number of student support and administrative offices are open for reduced office hours and/or by appointment only.

Phase 3 – Reduced Operational Status

Most instruction and many college work functions take place remotely. A limited number of on-campus instructional opportunities are offered face-to-face. Most college employees continue working remotely or on-call. Most college offices operating with limited face-to-face hours while using of telework, video teleconferencing, flexible scheduling, and other measures to maintain social distancing and flexibility.


Four strategies will guide tactics and actions in each phase.

  • Staffing. Increase staffing incrementally to gradually increase operations.
    • Those in vulnerable populations or living with people who are at high risk should remain off campus as long as possible. Supervisors need to be flexible to accommodate.
    • According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions may include:
      • Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
      • People with HIV
      • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
      • Chronic lung disease
      • Diabetes
      • Serious heart conditions
      • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
      • Severe obesity
      • Being immunocompromised
  • Personal Safety Practices. Scale physical distancing and cleaning practices into cultural norms.
  • Innovation. Continue and expand telework and innovative work practices.
  • Symptom Monitoring. Monitor health to ensure the well-being of our college community.

Campus Resources

To support the strategies and tactics in the plan, the college will:

  • Provide cloth face masks to employees
  • Provide PPE to certain employees whose jobs require it
  • Enhance cleaning and implement healthy-building strategies
  • Provide anti-viral wipes and cleaning supplies to offices
  • Provide guidance on how to improve workspace design and signage to support social distancing and additional hygiene measures.
  • Adjust schedules, shifts, and reporting requirements to help ensure flexibility and social distancing
  • Maintain and support transformational work practices

Additional Resources

Implementing Phase 2 – Restricted Operations

In keeping with the College of Southern Maryland’s Return to Campus Plan, CSM is implementing Phase 2 of a data-driven three-phase plan to gradually return to the campus workplace and resume on-campus instruction.

Phase 2 - Restricted Operational Status (Begins July 7, 2020)

In Phase 2, the college will begin to incrementally return key employees to campus workplaces, offer limited face-to-face services, and resume face-to-face instruction for courses with learning outcomes that cannot be measured or achieved virtually.

During this phase, most courses and training opportunities will be offered through web-based, hybrid and real-time-technology modes of instruction. The college will offer a full array of administrative services though the CSM website and other technology. Most employees will work remotely. Employees not scheduled to work must continue to request permission to come on campus.

Each administrative unit and academic area have developed a specific plan for resuming operations during Phase 2. These plans are reviewed and approved by the college’s Emergency Management Policy Group prior to implementation.

During Phase 2 - Restricted Operation, the following student services will be available face-to-face on the La Plata, Leonardtown, and Prince Frederick Campuses on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Admissions (by appointment only)
  • Advising (by appointment only)
  • Bookstore
  • Bursar/Student Accounts
  • Counseling (by appointment only)
  • Disability Support Services (by appointment only)
  • Financial Assistance (by appointment only)
  • Registrar’s Office (by appointment only)
  • Veteran’s Affairs (by appointment only)

Learn more about how to make appointments here. For more information on what services are available on campus, or help making an appointment, call 301-934-2251 or visit

By coming onto a CSM campus, you indicate that you have read, understand, and will comply with the health and safety rules and requirements outlined at You assume the inherent risk of exposure and possible infection related to novel coronavirus/COVID-19 by coming to campus.

Read the full Statement of Shared Responsibility and Acknowledgement of Unique and Individual Risks.

Procedures to Ensure Student, Employee, and Guest Safety

Restricted Operational Status Guidelines

Illustration of temperature checking

Health and Safety Monitoring

  • When students, employees, and guests arrive on campus, they must undergo and pass temperature screening. A temperature of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit is required for access.
  • Upon arriving on campus, students, employees, and guests will be asked to confirm that they have not knowingly been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 and they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Those who do not have a normal temperature or who have had known exposure to the coronavirus will be asked to leave campus.
Illustration of person wearing a mask

Face Coverings and Physical Barriers

  • Students, employees, and guests–2 years of age and older–must wear face coverings or face masks while on campus and in the presence of others.
  • People not wearing face coverings will be asked to leave campus (Exceptions: private work areas, prolonged work in hot/humid environments, and ADA or other medical reasons).
  • The college will supply all employees with face masks.
  • Plexiglass and other physical barriers are being installed in high-traffic or close-contact areas to maintain barriers.
Illustration of physically distancing 6 feet

Physical Distancing

  • During Restricted Operations, the college will utilize web-based technology, videoconferencing, telework, flexible scheduling, and other measures to promote physical distancing and limit the number of people on campus.
  • Those individuals in vulnerable populations or living with people who are high risk should remain off campus.
  • Everyone who is on campus should stay at least six feet apart and avoid being with others in small enclosed spaces.
  • Face-to-face meetings should be reserved for critical activities. Meetings should primarily be held using videoconference technology. Face-to-face meetings will not exceed more than 10.
  • Classroom instruction and other educational opportunities will never exceed 50% of a rooms capacity and will ensure that participants can maintain six feet of separation for physical distancing. Classrooms occupancy may exceed 10 people as long as the space is at less than 50% occupancy and participants are spaced at least six feet apart.
  • To promote physical distancing, the college has installed signage and markings throughout our campuses to identify appropriate, six-foot physical distancing.
  • Seating configurations in classrooms, computer labs, conference rooms, office areas, and lounges are being modified to maintain physical distancing.
  • No more than one person may use an elevator at a time.
Illustration of handwashing

Cleaning and Sanitizing

  • To protect the health and safety of our students, employees, and guests, the college has significantly increased the frequency of cleaning for all areas of the campuses (including classroom and office spaces)–especially high-contact areas.
  • The college has increased the number of hand sanitization stations across each campus.
  • Anti-viral wipes are being provided to each campus office to assist in disinfecting commonly used surfaces throughout the day.
  • In certain areas, employees will be provided with N95 or KN95 masks, gloves, face shields, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to help limit potential virus spread.
Illustration of sick person

Sick Leave and Excused Absences Policies

  • Students and employees are required to stay home if they are feeling sick or experiencing one or more of the following:
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Fatigue
    • New gastrointestinal symptoms
    • New loss of taste or smell
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must remain in isolation for at least 10 days from symptom onset and until free from fever for 72 hours — or follow current public health officer's guidance.
  • Individuals awaiting test results must remain in isolation.
  • Individuals who have close contact with confirmed cases must remain in quarantine for 14 days.
Illustration of training

COVID-19 Training

  • All employees will receive COVID-19 specific training. Employees are required to complete this training prior to returning to campus. The training includes the most current guidance from the CDC and other health advisors.
  • The college COVID-19 web pages have information for students, employees, and guests about the coronavirus and links to CDC and Health Department guidance.
  • Facilities staff have received training on enhanced cleaning practices and on how to implement healthy building strategies.