UPDATED: Marquette pauses COVID-19 Federal Order compliance plan for staff and faculty

Marquette University is actively monitoring the legal status of federal Executive Order 14042 (Federal Order) and is aware of the Dec. 7 U.S. district court ruling that halts the enforcement of the order for federal contract workers. Given this development, the university is pausing its COVID-19 Federal Order plan until further notice. We expect the situation will continue to change and we will provide updates as further guidance is shared.

Marquette’s required testing protocol continues for employees who have not uploaded proof of vaccination. At this time, 93% of Marquette employees have voluntarily uploaded proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Marquette to comply with new federal contractor COVID-19 guidance

Nov. 30, 2021

Marquette University is among hundreds of U.S. universities considered to be federal contractors and, therefore, is working to comply with Executive Order 14042 on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. The Federal Order applies to all workplaces that have contracts or contract-like instruments with the federal government.

We already have robust COVID-19 protocols that align with most of the requirements of the Federal Order, which puts the university in a strong position to achieve compliance quickly. However, the new Federal Order requires all Marquette University employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 18, 2022. More than 93% of our employees are already vaccinated, so this Federal Order will affect a limited number of employees who have not yet uploaded proof of vaccination.

Other leading research universities (MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, Penn State, etc.) and state school systems, including the University of Wisconsin System, have announced plans for compliance with the Federal Order. Similarly, nearly all our AJCU peers are already compliant because they have had a mandatory vaccination requirement for staff and faculty. Recently, Creighton, which did not have a previous mandatory vaccine requirement, announced it will comply with the Federal Order.

What’s changing

Staff and faculty who have not yet uploaded proof of vaccination through the MU Medical Portal – fewer than 200 individuals – were notified by our Human Resources team on Monday, Nov. 29, with information on the deadline, how to comply and how to request a legal medical/disability or religious accommodation, if appropriate. Failure to comply by Jan. 18, 2022, will result in progressive discipline measures.

If you have already uploaded proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to the MU Medical Portal, you do not need to take any action. As of now, there are no changes affecting students, except for those who work on federal grants.

Indoor campus masking requirement remains in place

Other campus COVID-19 guidelines, including mandatory masking in all campus buildings regardless of vaccination status, remain the same and align with the Federal Order.

Under the Federal Order, masking requirements are directly tied to the local transmission rate. Locally, as of Nov.  11, the city of Milwaukee case burden returned to extreme transmission and has continued to rise. As of Nov. 30, the case burden increased to 214.9 cases per 100,000, and the percent positivity returned to substantial transmission at 8.9%. State data show a current 7-day positivity rate of 11.8% with all counties in very high or critically high transmission status.

Especially with more people gathering indoors during the colder weather, masking indoors when in the presence of others who are not from your household continues to be an important mitigation strategy in addition to getting vaccinated. Free disposable masks are available at various places on campus.

Due to the rising rate of positive COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee and in anticipation of the Omicron variant, the Milwaukee Health Department issued an advisory on Nov. 30 to reinstate using masks indoors in a public setting regardless of vaccination status or past infection.

Stay up to date

As with most things COVID-related, we expect additional clarification, and details will emerge in the coming weeks. We continue to share the most updated information via our Marquette University Coronavirus page, which now has a Federal Executive Order Faculty and Staff section on our COVID-19 FAQ website.