Whether you traveled or stayed in town for the holiday, I hope you enjoyed a beautiful Easter weekend. Spring has certainly arrived in Baltimore. Please enjoy this wonderful weather but remember to keep wearing your mask, even outdoors. It’s a simple step to keep yourself and others safe.
I have heard that some students feel they can be out on the Quad without a mask, without repercussions. I assure you that we are taking every violation seriously and that the office of student conduct is addressing those issues as they come to light. As we see COVID cases rise beyond our campus, we must all make the best possible decisions within our community. All students must comply with all COVID regulations—and please encourage your friends and classmates to do the same.
This week, all undergraduate students who are attending in-person classes have been participating in mandatory COVID-19 testing and a Campus Assessment and Restriction Period (CARP). Exceptions are made only for students who have tested positive in the past 90 days. This testing is key to positioning us well for the final weeks of the semester.
As of today, we have received 14 positive results out of 2,075 test results received. Students who tested positive have moved to isolation in Loyola housing or gone home if they were able to get there safely. We plan to lift the CARP at 6 a.m. on Monday, April 12. If we decide, based on additional results, that we need to keep the CARP in place for segments of students or our entire community, I will update you by noon on Sunday, April 11. If you do not receive a message from me by then, you will know that the CARP will be lifted, and in-person classes, dining, and other experiences will resume at 6 a.m. on Monday, April 12.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has announced that all people who are 16 or older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations at mass vaccination sites right now—and, as of Monday, April 12, they are eligible at all vaccination sites. This is wonderful news for our students, and we encourage you to be vaccinated as soon as you are able.
We are working to make vaccinations available for students on campus, but they are not currently available through Student Health Services. We will, of course, let you know once this is an option for our students. Your best chance at getting a vaccine right now is to pursue one yourself, and there are several options in the area.
We recommend students use these links below to set up an appointment for vaccination:
At this point, we are strongly encouraging—but not yet requiring—members of our community to receive one of the available COVID-19 vaccines. Our medical experts recommend that all college students receive the vaccination as soon as possible. In the future, we might require that members of our community be vaccinated, allowing for health and religious exceptions as we do for other vaccines. If that is the case for the Fall 2021 semester, we will communicate that plan well in advance.
Since the Easter/Spring Break, some of our administrators and staff who are providing support related to COVID-19 have been receiving disrespectful, inappropriate, aggressive, and even abusive emails and calls from members of our community. Please understand that we are asking for compliance with protocols to maintain campus health so we can conclude the semester safely. I understand many of us are dealing with COVID fatigue, but I expect more—and better from members of our Loyola community.
Treating others with respect even when you are under pressure is not just the right thing to do; it is also a critical life skill for individuals who want to succeed personally and professionally. Do your part and be kind to the professionals who have been working around the clock to help keep our campus open—and keep you and your fellow members of the Loyola community safe and healthy.
I recognize that many of you are making excellent decisions to keep our community safe, and I want to thank you. You are making a significant difference through your good actions and your thoughtfulness and care for our community. Thank you for being true Ignatian citizens.
I hope you have a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather and a restful, safe, healthy weekend.
Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.