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Resuming On-Campus Activities 04-15-2021

Campus Communications

Message Regarding Resuming On-Campus Activities, April 16, 2021

 
Dear Marist Students,

We are happy to report that, with the cooperation of the Marist community, we have been able to significantly reduce the number of positive COVID-19 cases on campus. Based on the current data and the way we bent the curve, we are now able to resume select low-risk on-campus activities on a pilot basis, effective today, April 16. Thanks to your commitment to protecting the well-being of our community, we can begin to take positive steps toward finishing out the Spring semester in a more traditional manner.

This is good news, but we must continue to be cautious about our planned resumption of activities and use data to make informed decisions. If we can come together and continue to drive down the number of positive cases, while continuing to increase our vaccination rate among the student body, faculty, and staff, we will be able to further loosen restrictions. In the event positive cases increase, we will be forced to reinstitute those restrictions.

Lessons Learned from Pause:
  • Continuing to offer in-person classes and allowing more in-person opportunities such as athletics, performance arts, and commencement exercises will require everyone’s cooperation and acceptance of personal responsibility for public health in each member of our community.
  • Our experience over the last few weeks suggests that, like much of the rest of the country, we are seeing a changed pattern of coronavirus transmission, in which the virus spreads more efficiently. We are no longer seeing a pattern of transmission in which most people spread the virus to very few people, with an occasional ‘super-spreader’ that can infect many individuals. Rather, we are seeing significantly higher transmissibility, in which many individuals are infecting most or all of their close contacts.
  • We are seeing an increase in the percentage of students who are experiencing symptoms, whereas last semester most students were asymptomatic. Although these symptoms are very mild, the presence of symptoms can lead to increased transmission.
Approved Low-Risk Activities for Pilot Reopening:
  • Student Activities
    • Clubs will be permitted to meet in-person and socially distanced with indoor occupancy limits and outdoor options. Club meetings will be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Student Activities office.
    • The McCann Fitness Center (second floor) will open with a 25 percent capacity limit, with individual registration requirements through IMLeagues and supervision by McCann Center staff. The McCormick Hall Fitness Center will remain closed at this time.
    • In-person outdoor dining will be permitted in the dining tent located behind the Student Center.
    • Outdoor fire pit programs will resume.
  • Music
    • Use of individual music practice huts, located behind the Student Center, will be permitted.
    • Limited, size-restricted, supervised outdoor activities in specifically designated areas such as MidRise Green and Tenney Stadium, are under review for potential opening next week.
  • Athletics
    • Starting with low-risk varsity athletic teams who have competition schedules that dictate the need to qualify for conference championships, select teams will be permitted to resume practicing, training, and competing in association with identified risk on a case-by-case basis. Our goal is to allow as many teams as possible to qualify for postseason tournaments and beyond. The director of athletics will communicate next steps with each team individually.
What You Can Do to Help:
  • If you have any symptoms, no matter how slight, please self-quarantine and get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible. Contact Health Services for an assessment and help with arranging a test if you are symptomatic. DO NOT go to surveillance testing if you have symptoms.
  • Continue to practice social distancing, good personal hygiene, and wear masks at all times.
  • Double mask, as this is known to offer increased protection for the mask wearers and others. To double mask, wear two masks at the same time by placing a multilayered cloth mask over a surgical mask.
  • Protect your roommates, team members, and loved ones by minimizing contact with others outside of your living situation. If you may have been exposed or have taken personal risks, protect your roommates by self-quarantining when at home.
  • Comply with surveillance testing requirements and contact tracing. We urge students to remain vigilant as we begin to resume activities.
COVID-19 Vaccinations:
The most important step we can take to preserve our campus reopening is getting vaccinated. As members of our community continue to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we will be able to ease restrictions further. As a reminder, Marist will host its last on-campus vaccination clinic on Tuesday, April 20.  Register at https://forms.it.marist.edu/view.php?id=34466.

If you have been vaccinated, don’t forget to upload your proof of vaccination after each dose to marist.medicatconnect.com. This will provide Marist with an accurate count of fully vaccinated students and allow us to make additional data-informed decisions moving forward.

Thank you again for your continued commitment to keeping our community safe.

Sincerely,
Geoff Brackett, Executive Vice President
Thom Wermuth, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Deb DiCaprio, Vice President for Student Affairs