On Wednesday morning, Marymount University announced its plan to begin the Spring 2022 semester in a remote learning format for the first two weeks of classes in order to reduce the potential spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on campus. This announcement is in addition to a prior message which communicated that a COVID-19 booster shot will be required for all on-campus community members, as well as policies related to return-to-campus COVID-19 testing and a continuation of Marymount’s indoor mask requirement.
See below for President Becerra’s full message to the Marymount community on the temporary remote learning plan and other issues:
Dear Marymount Community,
I trust that all of you were able to enjoy a very merry Christmas this past weekend and are continuing to have a relaxing holiday break.
As I wrote to you previously before the fall semester came to a close, your health and safety continues to be at the forefront of our institutional priorities as a University. In a continuous fashion, we have been carefully reviewing communications and guidance from health officials as well as personal letters from students and parents, who have shared with us the difficulties and challenges they have faced in acquiring a COVID-19 test as they are in such a high demand at this time, as well as concerns regarding frequent flight cancellations.
While we remain committed to face-to-face education, because of these issues, we have decided that Marymount will open the Spring 2022 semester in a remote learning format for the first two weeks of classes. We believe this measure will help alleviate concerns brought to us by our community members, in addition to stemming any potential spread of the Omicron variant on campus.
This announcement functions as an update to our prior announcement of our enhanced COVID-19 policies. These include a required booster shot for all students, faculty and staff who will be physically present on campus during the upcoming semester by January 18, 2022, or within two weeks of booster eligibility. We also are continuing our indoor mask requirement, as well as requiring the submission of a negative COVID-19 test result from students – and now employees as well – within 72 hours of returning to campus. We are also planning for a random COVID-19 testing program community-wide during the spring semester.
Barry Harte, Vice President for Finance and Operations & Treasurer, will send out a follow-up email to employees that will guide them through the steps necessary to return to campus as planned on January 4, 2022.
The process for students returning to on-campus housing will continue as previously planned, as our Saints can access their residence hall space beginning at noon on Saturday, January 8. Our Community Assistants will be around the halls and available to answer any questions and offer support. A follow-up email from Dr. William Bisset, Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, will soon be sent to students with further details.
We also want to encourage students who are enrolled in the Bernie’s Books for Less program to take advantage of the at-home or residence hall delivery option for your course materials. Not only is this a convenient option, but it will also reduce the number of physical pick-ups for course materials at the Lodge.
Other important notes:
- All students, staff and faculty can receive a booster shot at Student Health Services (SHS) as supplies allow. Call 703-284-1610 or email SHS at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to set up your appointment. We offer the Pfizer booster shot, which is recommended following initial shots of Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.
- Students: please submit proof of booster and proof of negative test via email to email@example.com. If you are not eligible for your booster until after January 18, SHS will contact you when your booster is due. If you’re a student athlete and you have any questions, please reach out directly to your program coach.
- Faculty and Staff: please submit proof of booster and proof of negative test using Workday’s Safety Incident module. For a quick demo, visit our HR site and click “COVID-19 Vaccine Reporting Demo.” If you require any special considerations for your return to campus, please contact your immediate supervisor.
- Current exemptions and exemptions for newly-admitted Spring students will be upheld during the Spring 2022 semester, but no other exemptions will be granted. All exemptions will expire at the start of Fall 2022. If you have received an exemption, you will need to test weekly during the spring semester to remain in compliance.
- For any COVID-related concerns, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for your patience, and let’s start the new year strong!
Irma Becerra, Ph.D.