DC-Area Universities Aim to Prevent COVID-19, Monkeypox

The universities said they plan to monitor monkeypox cases this fall

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Local colleges and universities are taking steps this fall to keep monkeypox and COVID-19 from spreading as students return to campus.

D.C. health officials said they are working on a new strategy to prevent the spread of the monkeypox virus at colleges.

“We are trying to make sure that some of these universities also have doses of vaccine available so if there is a case, we can identify those contexts really immediately,” DC Health epidemiologist Dr. Anil Mangla said.

Students who are at least 18, go to college in the District and meet additional criteria are eligible to receive the monkeypox vaccine in D.C.

George Washington University confirmed it has had two cases of monkeypox. The university said both individuals who had the virus are out of isolation and doing well.

The University of Maryland said it is closely monitoring monkeypox after a presumptive positive case popped up at the College Park campus.

Maryland's College Park campus will continue to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff. The college is still deciding whether to require masks in classrooms.

Some other schools in the University System of Maryland, like UMBC and Bowie State, are only requiring COVID-19 shots for residential students.

Georgetown University had a presumptive positive monkeypox case in June and said it is monitoring the monkeypox situation.

The university's COVID-19 policy will require masks on the main and Medical Center campuses. The policy will require all students to submit a COVID-19 test before returning to campus. Students are also required to get the COVID vaccine unless they have a medical or religious exemption.

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