BALTIMORE (WJZ) – COVID-19 outbreaks are causing local universities to cancel events and change how the fall semesters conclude.The University of Maryland College Park on Thursday canceled its winter commencement after nearly 100 new cases were detected on campus.Towson University reported 112 cases Thursday, mostly from students, school officials say.“I just think it’s crazy how, you know, it’s coming back. And, I just thought it’s getting better,” Towson University student Asia Curry said.Effective Friday night, Towson University is moving final exams to virtual format and changing its dining services to carry-out only.“It’s scary,” student Nick Sparshatt said. “Going back to that, it’s like, ‘I gotta do this again.’”Maryland remains in the dark on many public health metrics as the Maryland Department of Health continues to recover from a cyber attack. Health Department officials say there is no timeline when data will be restored, but its team is “working around the clock.”“It really hamstrings both public policy and individuals that are driving decision-making like, ‘Am I going to that holiday party?’ ‘Am I going to be inside?’ ‘Where am I going to wear a mask?’” Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center Data Lead Beth Blauer said.Of the metrics continuing to be published, hospitalizations in Maryland have doubled in the past three weeks, now surpassing 1,200. The spike is causing the state to direct hospitals to reduce scheduling non-urgent surgeries.

Paul Gessler