Dear Marquette community,
Marquette University is committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. As was shared before Winter Break, we have been closely monitoring evolving developments related to COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. We remain committed to providing a high-quality and safe in-person learning experience – a hallmark of a transformational Catholic, Jesuit education.
Therefore, after careful consideration of the many dimensions of our campus life, our mission to our students, our responsibility to one another, and in light of COVID-19 cases and percent positivity in the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, Marquette University announces the below changes. These actions will offer more opportunities to get vaccinated or boosted, move us past the expected local Omicron peak in mid-January, and give us additional time to prepare ourselves and campus for the spring semester.
- The first day of undergraduate, Graduate School and Law School classes is delayed until Monday, Jan. 24: There will be no classes the week of Jan. 17 (the majority of classes were originally slated to begin Jan. 18). Additional information on how the class time of these four days will be made up will be shared in the coming days. There are no plans to cancel Spring Break or Easter Break. Students in particular colleges and schools may also receive separate communications from their deans’ offices with additional program-specific information. This delay will not affect predoctoral and postgraduate students in Dentistry programs who started classes on Monday, Jan. 3.
- Residence hall move-in for second semester will take place Jan. 22-23: In the coming days, the Office of Residence Life will contact students living in the residence halls with additional details about second semester move-in.
- Booster shots required for students, strongly recommended for faculty and staff: Proof of booster for students, faculty, and staff must be uploaded to the MU Medical Clinic portal by Feb. 1, 2022 or, based on eligibility, by:
- Five months after receiving a second dose of the Moderna vaccine
- Five months after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine
- Two months after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Faculty, staff and students who do not comply will be subject to testing protocols. The university is working with the City of Milwaukee Health Department to host a booster clinic on campus.
- More frequent testing for students, faculty and staff who have not uploaded proof of vaccination: Students, faculty and staff who have not uploaded proof of vaccination will be tested weekly during the spring semester.
- Indoor mask requirement extended: Well-fitting masks will continue to be required indoors on campus until further notice. Masks are available at locations on campus. The City of Milwaukee is offering free N95 masks at various locations.
- Adoption of CDC guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation as of Jan. 18, 2022: We are rewriting policy and rebuilding processes to adapt to the new CDC guidelines. If you are currently in isolation or quarantine you need to follow your current instructions and return dates. The updated quarantine and isolation directions are in alignment with the new CDC guidance and will take effect Jan. 18, 2022.
These decisions were made with the endorsement of the executive committee of the Marquette University Board of Trustees and the Marquette University COVID-19 Response Team.
Communication going forward
We understand that these decisions have campus-wide implications, many of them interdependent. Our COVID-19 Response Team meets multiple times each week and is working through these complex issues to identify the best courses of action in the coming days and weeks. We will follow up with additional information soon via Marquette Today and are updating the FAQs on our COVID-19 website. Our top priority today was letting you know these decisions as soon as possible so that you may plan ahead.
Just as we worked together to be able to stay in-person all of fall semester and achieve a 93% campus vaccination rate, we will work together to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Please use this extra week of Winter Break to get your vaccine booster and to stock up or upgrade your mask supply so our community is even more prepared and protected when we come back together.
Now is not the time to let up. Keep wearing your masks indoors. Make smart decisions about social gatherings and travel. And if you are not yet vaccinated, please strongly consider doing so. Protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect your fellow community members.
We are addressing this evolving situation according to our Catholic, Jesuit mission, and with the flexibility to adapt nimbly as conditions change. We ask for your continued patience as we fulfill our commitment to providing a transformational, in-person educational experience. We look forward to welcoming our students back to campus later this month.
Dr. Michael R. Lovell