Provost Miranda and EVP Cullinan: Spring Update #16

Author: John Slott

Note: Dated communications are archived here for reference, but may not reflect the most up-to-date information available.

Yellow-throated Warbler

Dear Colleagues:

This week marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which runs from May 6 through May 12. One of the many lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed is the vital role those in the nursing profession play in keeping our communities healthy and safe. At Notre Dame, we are blessed to have incredible nurses taking care of our students, faculty, staff, and families at the Notre Dame Wellness Center, University Health Services, the University Counseling Center, COVID-19 Response Unit testing center, the contact tracing team, and our vaccine clinics. We invite you to email NDWorks to offer a note of appreciation to our nursing staff.

By the numbers

We continue to watch the dashboard closely and are very encouraged by the significant decline in case numbers over the past few weeks. We are down to a 7-day average of 1.4 cases/day and a 7-day positivity rate hovering around 0.1%. This is incredibly good news.

Second dose vaccine clinic

As we near the end of the University’s COVID vaccine clinic, we are hopeful that all members of the Notre Dame community who registered for the clinic have been able to return for their second appointment.

Uploading your vaccination information

As the University evaluates health and safety measures for the summer and beyond, a number of factors are being considered, such as the percentage of our students, faculty, and staff who are vaccinated. We have strong student data – thanks in large part to our campus vaccine clinic. However, our faculty and staff self-reporting rates are lagging.

We are asking faculty and staff to help provide us with a more accurate picture of our vaccination rates. If you have received the second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or a single dose of the J&J vaccine, please upload your vaccination information here. You will receive a confirmation email after successfully uploading your documentation. (Please note that this reporting system is separate from the Indiana COVID-19 Registry and information is not shared between the two.)

Summer health and safety protocols

Surveillance testing remains open for faculty, staff, and graduate students who wish to test through Friday, May 21, 2021. Information about summer surveillance testing hours of operation will be communicated soon.

No additional changes in public health protocols at this time

As of now, we expect no changes this summer regarding existing protocols for mask wearing, or for classroom and instructional space. Detailed information about our summer plans will be included in this Thursday’s Weekly Updates & Answers to Your Questions email.

Hiring for replacement and new positions

As a reminder, the staff hiring freeze for replacement personnel will end on June 30, 2021. This means that replacement positions with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2021, or after can now be approved by vice presidents and deans and posted to the Notre Dame job site. New staff positions, no matter the anticipated start date, continue to require the approval of an executive officer before a job is posted.

Closing thoughts

Yellow-throated Warbler

Issues of diversity and inclusion remain a critical part of the COVID-19 pandemic and our country’s broader challenges. As Fr. John said in a recent statement: “We at Notre Dame must never tire of striving to deepen our appreciation of peoples of every race and ethnic heritage, celebrating their gifts and discovering the deeper humanity that binds us. We must fight against every form of bigotry and exclusion, for it is only by doing so that we can be the community and institution we aspire to be.”

As always, please remember:

  • Wear your mask
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Complete your daily health check
  • Keep your scheduled testing appointments

Please take time to enjoy the beauty of our campus. If you’re lucky, you may run across a yellow throated warbler, like this one captured by avid bird watcher Tom Anderson, professor of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Yours in Notre Dame,

Marie Lynn Miranda, Provost

Shannon Cullinan, Executive Vice President