Updated COVID-19 mitigation policies for spring semester

Since the recent announcement to delay the start of second semester classes for a week to move us past the expected local Omicron peak and allow additional time to prepare campus for the spring semester, hundreds of individuals across campus have been working to update Marquette University’s policies to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet several times each week to work on these complex and interrelated issues. With local and federal guidance changing daily, we also regularly consult with medical experts to ensure we have the best information possible to inform our decision-making. Based on input from across campus, Marquette is taking the following action steps as we prepare for the start of spring semester.

Vaccination and Boosters

  • Boosters: Booster shots are required for students and strongly recommended for faculty and staff, same as COVID-19 vaccination, which has resulted in an incredible 94% of our campus being vaccinated.Individuals who are not boosted will be subject to testing protocols and will be required to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19. 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 
  • Walk-in vaccination, booster and flu clinic on campus Feb. 1: To help students, faculty and staff receive a booster shot, the City of Milwaukee Health Department will host a walk-in vaccine and booster clinic on Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the AMU Ballrooms. Students, faculty and staff can attend. All COVID-19 doses – including first, second and boosters – will be available. Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines will be available. Influenza vaccines will also be available.  Preregister online (no appointment needed for this walk-in clinic), bring your CDC COVID-19 vaccination card with you and upload your vaccine information to the MU Medical Clinic portal.

Masks, Symptom Screening and Self-Disclosure

  • Masks: A well-fitting multi-layer mask is required in all campus buildings. Read about additional university mask guidance.  Disposable and N95 masks are available at the AMU Information Desk and Raynor Memorial Libraries. Each college and residence hall also has a limited supply of masks to distribute.
  • COVID Cheq symptom screener: A green COVID Cheq pass will continue to be required to enter Raynor Memorial Libraries, campus dining facilities and other locations on campus. All students, faculty and staff who have received the COVID-19 booster and uploaded proof will continue to receive the automated COVID Cheq green pass each morning. Those eligible for a booster dose who have not yet received the shot and/or have not uploaded the booster to the MU Medical Clinic Portal will begin receiving a daily COVID Cheq reminder email/text and must complete the COVID Cheq screening to receive a daily badge based on completion of the survey.
  • Self-disclosure: Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, regardless of whether you were on campus, should self-disclose.

Quarantine, Isolation and Testing

  • Quarantine and isolation guidelines: Marquette is adopting the CDC’s new quarantine and isolation guidance, with specific additional guidance for students living in residence halls. For faculty, staff and students who do not live in Marquette residence halls, a negative PCR test taken after the fifth day, uploaded and verified (here for faculty and staff, here for students who don’t live in residence halls) by the Medical Clinic or Human Resources, is required to leave quarantine after day five. Three daily meals will be delivered to students in on-campus quarantine and isolation spaces.
  • Testing protocol for those who have not uploaded proof of vaccination: Required testing for faculty, staff and students who have not uploaded proof of COVID-19 vaccination is being increased from every other week to weekly.
  • Testing protocol for those who have not uploaded proof of booster: Faculty, staff and students who are eligible for a booster dose but do not upload proof of booster dose by Feb. 1 will be subject to surveillance testing. More details will be shared following the Feb. 1 deadline. Upload proof of your booster online. 
  • On-campus and near-campus PCR testing: Free on-campus PCR testing is available for symptomatic students and faculty, staff and students identified as known close contacts from an on-campus exposure by calling the MU Medical Clinic. The City of Milwaukee offers free PCR testing at various locations.
  • Free and reimbursable antigen tests available: The federal government recently announced that it has purchased 500 million rapid tests, which can be ordered via the COVIDtests.gov website. In addition, all individuals on Marquette’s medical plans can purchase over-the-counter COVID-19 tests authorized by the U.S Food and Drug Administration that will be covered at a reimbursement rate of up to $12 per test.

Classroom Policies

  • Food and drink: Eating and drinking increases the risk of transmission, so faculty, staff and students are asked to limit eating and drinking in classrooms, academic building hallways, library study spaces, and otherwise comply with the setting’s food and drink policies.
  • Contact tracing: Just like during fall semester, at the beginning of the semester, faculty will ask students to know their neighbors – in other words, make note of who they are sitting next to or nearby. Should contact tracing be needed, the process will be easier if this information is already recorded. Please cooperate with contact tracers if you are contacted.
  • Class modalities: Fall 2021 guidance remains in effect for spring 2022: Instructors of in-person courses who are symptomatic or in quarantine/isolation should inform their department chair or academic program leader and shift courses to virtual instruction for the duration of their quarantine/isolation.

Campus Buildings and Events

  • Building ventilation: Facilities Planning and Management continues to follow the latest guidance from the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force and its Core Recommendations for Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that building air filtration is MREV-13 or better in a well-maintained system, meeting or exceeding outdoor air ventilation requirements, and implementing emerging technologies such as needlepoint bipolar ionization when over-ventilation is not feasible or practical. Additional ventilation measures include: Extra checks of ventilation systems and equipment; extended operating hours for mechanical ventilation systems; increased outside air ventilation rates where possible; and implementing special out-of-cycle checks on central supply air fan MERV-13 filters.
  • Cleaning and disinfection: Routine cleaning includes daily cleaning of restrooms, wiping down of surfaces, collection of trash in break rooms, and rotational work such as spot dusting and floor care. Employees with private offices should continue to take trash to common receptacles.
  • Campus dining: A green COVID Cheq pass is required to enter campus dining halls. Masks are required in dining halls except when actively eating or drinking. Additional “to go” meal options will be available for students this semester.
  • Campus events: COVID-19 Recovery Team approval is no longer required for campus events. All events should follow Marquette’s COVID-19 policies. Events can include food consumption, and masks are required when not actively eating or drinking. A tight-fitting cloth or disposable mask is required inside all Marquette buildings.

We all have a responsibility to each other and to our community to get vaccinated and boosted, continue wearing our masks and stay home if feeling sick. Together, we can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and have a successful spring semester.