In light of the CDC’s announcement yesterday regarding masking, we know there are many questions about the University’s protocols going forward. After consultation with Dr. Mark Fox, deputy health officer for St. Joseph County, we write to share the University’s expectations between now and the Monday after Commencement, May 24:
- Effective tomorrow, May 15, students who are vaccinated are not required to mask at outdoor gatherings of any size on campus.
- The University will maintain the requirements for masks indoors, including in classrooms and residence halls, for students until Thursday, May 20, the day on which 90% of all students will be fully vaccinated (defined as two weeks after the second dose, which is May 20 given the last day of our vaccination clinic).
- After Thursday, May 20, masking will be optional indoors in residential buildings for those students still on campus who are fully vaccinated. We urge those students who are not vaccinated or who might not feel comfortable being unmasked for any reason to continue to wear their masks.
- Faculty and staff, whether or not they are vaccinated, are asked to continue to observe current protocols with regard to masking indoors as we encourage everyone to get vaccinated. At this time, 71% of faculty and 56% of staff have confirmed that they are fully vaccinated.
- After Thursday, May 20, in buildings on campus where significant numbers of students, faculty, staff, and the public congregate (such as the Basilica, Duncan Student Center, and LaFortune Student Center) everyone is asked, for the time being, to continue to wear their masks indoors. Indoor dining in campus eateries will resume at a future date.
- Masking for those students who are vaccinated will not be required for the outdoor events planned as part of Senior Week. Graduating seniors will receive additional information from the Senior Class.
- During the University Commencement Mass and University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 23, in Notre Dame Stadium, masking will be optional for all graduates who are vaccinated, as well as the official Platform Party. Distanced seating (3 feet apart) will remain in place for graduates. Notre Dame faculty and staff, as well as the families and guests of our graduates coming to campus from across the country and around the world, will be asked to wear masks at Commencement. As originally planned, and based on guidance from Dr. Fox, guests will be seated in family groups and distanced 6 feet apart. The number of guest tickets per graduate remains unchanged.
- For the college and school diploma ceremonies, the same protocols as outlined for the University Commencement ceremonies will apply.
- As noted above, vaccinated students have the option of not wearing masks in the residence halls over Commencement weekend but are asked to wear masks inside other campus buildings. Faculty, staff, and all guests are asked to wear masks indoors in all campus buildings over Commencement weekend.
We want to take this opportunity to once again thank you for all that you have done in this challenging year. We could not be more proud to be part of this community, and we thank you for the resilience, compassion, and creativity you have displayed. Together let us bring the work of this semester to a good conclusion, and celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of our graduates. Know of our prayers for you and your loved ones.
In Notre Dame,
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President
Marie Lynn Miranda, Provost
Shannon Cullinan, Executive Vice President