This Friday, Marymount University President Irma Becerra informed the community of the institution’s new requirement that all Marymount students, faculty and staff must receive the COVID-19 vaccine for the Fall 2021 semester.
Medical and religious exemptions will be considered and granted for those who qualify.
“Having our entire community vaccinated against this virus is the easiest way for Marymount to move forward and minimize any potential pandemic-related disruptions to our mission,” President Becerra wrote in a letter to University students and employees.
Throughout the Spring 2021 semester, the University has strongly encouraged its community members to receive the vaccine as soon as they are able, demonstrated through Marymount’s “Let’s Get ‘Vacc’ Together” on-campus marketing campaign. In late April, the University also held the first of two large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the Lee Center, where 1,174 individuals from the University and the general public received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Next Wednesday, May 12, the University will hold its second COVID-19 vaccine clinic in the Lee Center from 9 am to 5 pm, in partnership with the Army National Guard and Safeway. The clinic will offer the second Pfizer dose to previous participants, as well as the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, Marymount community members who have not yet received a vaccine will have the opportunity to receive a complete dose next week and abide by the requirements of the new policy.
“Up to this point, we have opted to not formally require COVID-19 vaccination among our community members – but after a great deal of discussion and collaboration with my cabinet members, it was agreed that the establishment of a requirement would best ensure that the University is able to offer a safe, face-to-face educational and living experience to all of our student body next semester,” President Becerra added.
More details on the policy will be communicated to the University community in the coming weeks from the Office of Student Health and Well-Being as well as the Office of Human Resources. Further information can also be found on Marymount’s COVID-19 Information and Resources Page and its Return to Campus Update page.
In addition to progress in the vaccination of students, faculty and staff, Marymount’s planned reinstatement of a full in-person academic delivery model this August is also dependent on continued adherence to health and safety measures such as the wearing of face coverings, surveillance testing, contact tracing and implemented social distancing protocols.
Operating under the “Saints Reunite” Return to Campus Plan for the current academic year, Marymount has had continued success in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. In both the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, the University’s positivity rate across all community members has been only about two percent, and its hybrid academic delivery model has prevented virus transmission in classroom settings.
“As we near the end of Finals Week and approach our upcoming commencement ceremonies, I am filled with tremendous optimism for what lies ahead of us,” President Becerra reflected. “Thanks to the efforts of our students, faculty and staff to keep themselves and each other safe and healthy, we are on our way to returning to a more ‘normal’ college experience this fall.”