Aug. 9, 2021

Aug. 9, 2021

Presidential message

In review of evolving public health realities and recommendations, and in consultation with Creighton leaders and health experts, I am providing today updated COVID-19 guidance and reminders aimed at keeping our campus safe and healthy as we begin the new academic year. This new guidance specifically addresses campus visitors and events.

Visitors and guests of the University who are unvaccinated are expected to wear a face covering on Creighton’s campuses, and those who are vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.

At any indoor on-campus event, activity, or gathering in which visitors or guests of the University are present, all participants and attendees, regardless of vaccination status, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. This guidance covers events of any size. In addition, our previous guidance stipulates that at Creighton events and activities that are indoors and primarily involve participants under the age of 16, all attendees will be required to wear a face covering.

Additionally, health sciences students are required to comply with the PPE requirements of each of their individual clinical sites for which they are assigned.

I am pleased that our campus vaccination rates are robust, with nearly 99.6% of our benefits-eligible faculty and staff vaccinated, and more than 93% of our students in both Omaha and Phoenix vaccinated, as of Aug. 6. 

As a reminder, Creighton is requiring all students to be fully vaccinated prior to arriving on campus for the fall semester, or to obtain a medical exemption, or an exemption due to the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status of the vaccines, through the Student Medical Exemption Request Form. Students, faculty, and staff should upload confirmation of COVID-19 immunizations to the BirdHouse.

At this time, we are not requiring vaccinated members of the Creighton community to wear a face covering on campus or in classes when visitors are not present. However, we do continue to expect unvaccinated students, faculty, staff, and visitors to wear a face covering on campus and in classes. Of course, any person who would feel more comfortable wearing a face covering on campus, for whatever reason, is always encouraged to do so.

I think it is important to note, if you are feeling ill or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not report to campus, regardless of your vaccination status. Student Health, Education and Compliance will work with any student who becomes ill. Faculty and staff should notify their managers and work through their health care providers. For more information about COVID-19 testing and local positivity rates, visit your local health department website. It is also important to continue to maintain good personal hygiene practices such as thorough and frequent hand-washing to help prevent the spread of illness. 

While we successfully and creatively navigated hybrid in-person and virtual learning last academic year, we have heard from students that they are excited to return to fully in-person learning for 2021-2022. At this time, all on-campus courses and laboratories will remain fully in person. Students requiring accommodations will be referred to the Office of Disability Services.

Please know, too, that the shifting nature of the COVID-19 virus and its variants will require us to be nimble and flexible in our response, and we will continue to monitor and consult national, state, and local government and public health recommendations.

I appreciate your continued vigilance in this matter as we begin the semester. The health and safety of our entire Creighton community is a priority, and we will communicate any updates if and when they become necessary.

Sincerely,
Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD