It seems hard to imagine a year has passed since Notre Dame suspended in-person classes due to COVID-19. Sadly, the pandemic has since claimed the lives of more than 2.5 million people worldwide, including nearly 525,000 in the U.S., and profoundly changed the lives of people around the world.
As we look back on the past twelve months, we choose to remember as well the many bright spots – the challenges we faced, the small successes we have enjoyed, and the way our entire campus community came together in common purpose. We could not be prouder or more grateful for all you have done for our University and our students this past year and for your continued dedication to our work remaining this semester. Here is a brief update.
By the numbers and variants
Week over week, positive cases in our campus community remain relatively stable, but stable at numbers higher than we would prefer. Some of you have been asking about variants of COVID-19 on campus. COVID-19 variants have been confirmed in nearly all 50 states at this point. The Indiana Department of Health acknowledged that the B.1.1.7 variant is in the State of Indiana, and St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox said the B.1.1.7 variant is present in the county. If the B.1.1.7 variant is in St. Joseph County, then it is likely on campus now or soon will be. Because the B.1.1.7 variant has been shown to be more transmissible, following our public health protocols becomes even more important.
COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and effective in preventing hospitalization and death, and we continue to encourage everyone to register for a vaccination as soon as they are eligible. This morning the state lowered the eligibility age to 45, significantly expanding the number of people eligible in our region.
Yesterday you should have received an email from the University’s Vaccine Administration Team requesting you to upload your vaccination documentation once you have received the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, using the following steps:
1. Scan or take a picture of your vaccination card.
2. Access the portal at https://go.nd.edu/vaccineportal.
3. Click on the red text link on the landing page directing you to fill out your pending forms.
4. Open the form for COVID Vaccination – Faculty or Staff.
5. Choose the option to share your one or two-dose vaccine information.
NOTE: If you received the two-dose series, make sure that you have completed both doses before uploading any information.
Interpreters needed for Notre Dame vaccination clinic
As mentioned previously, the state plans to hold two daylong mass vaccination clinics at Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena, Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27. The Indiana Department of Health is looking for volunteers to serve as Spanish language interpreters. No medical training is required, but volunteers must be fluent in Spanish. To volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With Easter just weeks away, vaccinations becoming widely available, and commencement on the horizon, there is significant cause for optimism as we look forward. Even so, the virus and its variants remain a serious threat to our campus and the surrounding community. It remains critical that each of us does his or her part to keep our campus community safe so that we continue to minimize illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19. Below is a photo of one of the evening shift teams in the saliva surveillance laboratory. We offer our special thanks to this amazing team who have all done so much to keep our campus safe and healthy.
- Wear your mask
- Practice physical distancing
- Wash your hands frequently
- Complete your daily health check
- Keep your scheduled testing appointments
We hope you all have a very safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Yours in Notre Dame,
Marie Lynn Miranda, Provost
Shannon Cullinan, Executive Vice President