Provost Miranda, EVP Cullinan to Faculty and Staff: Spring Update #1

Author: John Slott

Campus1

Dear Colleagues:

The spring semester is getting close, even as many are deeply immersed in the Winter Session. The energy is starting to build as we look forward to welcoming students back to campus soon. We write with a few updates, as we restart our habit of sending regular messages to all of you.

Campus Compact

Based on our experience in the fall, we have clarified and formalized expectations for compliance with health and safety protocols for undergraduate and professional students in this Compact and an associated revision to the Student Code of Conduct. Student Affairs informed undergraduate and professional students about these expectations and consequences in a letter earlier today.

Entry testing

All undergraduate and professional students are required to undergo testing as they return to campus. Details on these requirements can be found on the HERE website.

Diagnostic testing

Diagnostic testing continues to be available through the testing center located in the Joyce Center. More information can be found on the HERE website.

Surveillance testing

Surveillance testing is a critical strategy for identifying pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals and for helping to control the spread of COVID-19 within our community. As you are aware, we vastly expanded testing capacity and the requisite underlying data systems during the fall semester. With this expanded capacity, we will:

  • Mandatorily test the entire undergraduate and professional student population on a weekly basis.
  • Test faculty, staff members, graduate students, and postdocs regularly working on campus once every two weeks.

Surveillance testing will start February 3.

Signing up for surveillance testing

We strongly encourage faculty, staff members, graduate students, and postdocs who will be working on campus two or more days each week during the spring to be tested once every two weeks. Those who have experienced the saliva-testing process at the Joyce Center know it is easy, fast, and simple. The testing provides you, your close associates, and family members with some assurance that you are not carrying the virus.

Starting at 8:00 a.m. Monday, January 25, faculty, staff members, graduate students, and postdocs can schedule an appointment for testing using this online calendaring tool. We are hopeful that scheduling tests in advance will prevent backups at the testing center. There are provisions to reschedule testing appointments when necessary, but we ask that you please try to keep your scheduled appointments.

The COVID-19 Response Unit (CRU) will be sending additional details about surveillance testing center procedures tomorrow. Should you have questions, please contact the CRU Hotline at 574-634-4373 (HERE) or by email at covidresponseunit@nd.edu. CRU staff members are available to assist you Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Concluding thoughts

Even as we continue to battle COVID-19, we can be encouraged by the good news of effective vaccines and better treatments. During yesterday’s inauguration ceremony, young poet Amanda Gorman stated: “When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we are brave enough to see it. If only we are brave enough to be it.” We are grateful for the light that all of you bring to our work together.

Please remember:

  • Wear your mask
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Complete your daily health check if you are coming to campus
  • Keep your scheduled testing appointments

Know of our abiding prayers for you, your loved ones, our nation, and our world.

Yours in Notre Dame,

Marie Lynn Miranda, Provost

Shannon Cullinan, Executive Vice President