Dear Members of the John Carroll University Community,
Happy New Year and welcome to the spring semester at John Carroll University! We’re excited to have our students, faculty, and staff back on campus together in 2022. John Carroll's campus – including classrooms, residence halls, dining halls, and recreation spaces – is open. Our COVID protocols are in place to ensure the health and safety of the campus community. We will begin our semester on-time and in person, and continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and communicate relevant updates with our community.
Last semester was a success because you took our COVID protocols seriously. Our high vaccination rate and compliance with guidelines by the campus community resulted in very few positive cases throughout the fall. Strict adherence to mask wearing and other protocols resulted with little to no transmission of the virus in the classroom.
Let’s be clear: The rapid spread of the Omicron variant means that our challenges continue. Like all of you I am frustrated by the ongoing disruption to nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Nonetheless we are once again called upon to respond to the challenges and uncertainties of the continuing pandemic. In addition to individual resilience and care for one another, we must all exercise flexibility, creativity, and trust. I know this is hard work, but we have proven that we can do it.
Our COVID-19 Task Force has been monitoring the data in Cuyahoga County and regionally in the areas from which our students will be returning. We know Omicron is more transmissible than previous versions of COVID-19, even for the vaccinated. Each member of our community needs to be responsible for helping to minimize the risk of transmission. That makes compliance with our health protocols even more important this semester.
So what must we all do to protect ourselves and our community this spring?
- Get vaccinated or get a booster: Currently, nearly all serious cases of COVID-19 are preventable with vaccinations and booster shots. We strongly encourage all members of our community to get vaccinated. It is also extremely important to stay up-to-date on your vaccination by receiving a booster shot as soon as you are eligible. Consistent with CDC guidance, having a booster shot or a recent vaccination in the last 5 months (2 months for Johnson & Johnson) can eliminate quarantine requirements if you are exposed.
- Wear a mask: Masks are required indoors at John Carroll with very limited exceptions including while eating and when residential students are in their rooms. We strongly encourage everyone on campus to wear KN95 or three-ply surgical masks rather than cloth masks.
- Get tested before returning to campus: We strongly recommend that ALL students get tested no more than 72 hours before returning to campus to reduce the chances of spreading the virus.
Our resilience is challenged once again. Together, we have proven that we can face these challenges and keep our campus open, safe and as vibrant as possible. Let’s continue to look out for one another and make good decisions to ensure a successful spring semester.
Let me close by offering my personal gratitude for all your hard work, sacrifice, and cooperation. I look forward to welcoming you back to campus as we work together to complete a successful Spring semester.