Start-of-Semester Message from President Weinman
I would like to personally welcome you back for the spring semester! We are glad to have you back for an on-time and in-person start to the semester.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have asked the Marist community to come together to protect and support each other. While COVID-19 has caused a tremendous amount of uncertainty, it has also shown how strong we are when we work together. We had a successful fall semester due to our high vaccination rate and our collective effort to follow health and safety requirements. To ensure a safe, in-person spring semester, we must all continue to do our part.
Our success has come from our three-pillar approach, which includes vaccinations, a robust testing program, and universal masking. With adherence to these three protocols, we will be in great shape to have as safe and effective a spring semester as possible.
With the dramatic rise locally and nationally in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, we must continue to safeguard our community by committing to wear masks in accordance with updated guidance. High-quality masks, when worn properly and at all times, are an important part of our strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to give us the best chance of a “normal” semester. For this reason, all members of the Marist community, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks while indoors.
Please do your part by always wearing your mask, even if no one is looking. Do not put the burden on others to remind you to wear your mask. This creates an uncomfortable situation and the avoidable risk of confrontation. If you are asked to put your mask on, please do so without protest or argument. Better yet, please thank the person for doing their part to help you remember to do yours. We are all on the same team and are all in this together.
MASK TYPE & EXPECTATIONS
Here are some important updates regarding masking:
- Where possible, individuals are encouraged to double mask (we recommend a surgical mask covered with a cloth mask), wear a KN95 mask, or if appropriate, wear an N95 respirator.
- Single-layer cloth masks are not as effective at preventing transmission and should be avoided.
- We have purchased additional supplies of all masks, and they are available upon request through the Office of Safety and Security.
- Face coverings can be requested by emailing: PPE.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Masks may only be removed in the following circumstances:
- Within individual residence hall rooms
- Working alone in single-occupancy spaces with the door closed
- While actively eating or drinking and seated. If eating with others, put your mask back on immediately when done eating, and maintain physical distance while socializing at the table, if possible.
If you feel symptoms of any illness, you must get tested. We are aware of “testing hesitancy,” where students avoid getting a test because they do not wish to go into isolation, or where they simply dismiss their symptoms as a cold or other non-COVID illness. Simply put, you are putting your fellow students and Marist faculty and staff at risk if you ignore symptoms and choose not to test. You are also putting the work of the College at risk by allowing the virus to proliferate. As you know, COVID-19 shares many symptoms with other illnesses. If you have any symptoms at all, you must get tested immediately.
As a reminder, Marist will continue to use COVID Cleared in myMarist this semester. Students and employees must be in full compliance with Marist’s COVID-related policies to be permitted on campus. Students who have met the requirements outlined below will see a green “Cleared” status bar under their name in myMarist. Students who do not meet the requirements outlined below will see a red “Not Cleared” status bar in myMarist under their name and should click on “Action Items” to identify issues that must be resolved to obtain clearance status. Please note that students who are “Not Cleared” are not permitted to attend on-ground classes or come to campus.
Students are cleared to be on campus if they:
- Complete mandatory surveillance testing (if applicable)
- Comply with the College’s vaccination policy, including exemption status
- Complete weekly Health Attestation (if applicable)
- Adhere to mandatory quarantine or isolation (if applicable)
- Are not subject to a judicial hold
Finally, I’d like to remind you that Marist is requiring that all members of our campus community who are eligible per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to obtain a COVID-19 booster by Monday, January 31, 2022. Anyone who is not yet eligible for a booster as per CDC guidelines prior to the 31st must receive their booster within 30 days of becoming eligible. If you’ve already received your booster, it’s important that you upload your documentation HERE as soon as possible.
Thank you in advance for your help in keeping the Marist campus safe, healthy, and open. We’ve done this before, and we can do it again. We look forward to a time, hopefully very soon, when these modest sacrifices are no longer necessary, but we are not there yet.