|FROM:||Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President|
|SUBJ:||Message Regarding Masks on Campus|
|DATE:||January 11, 2022|
Greetings as Spring Semester 2022 gets fully under way.
As I know you are well aware, our nation is in the midst of a major surge of reported COVID-19 infections, this time largely due to the omicron variant. We at Gonzaga, along with most colleges and universities across the country, are also seeing an increase in reported cases. Not all, but some of these reported positive cases are from individuals who are fully vaccinated (e.g., having received booster shots), demonstrating the power of this coronavirus to adapt to environmental change.
Based on the most recent trend data, we anticipate that this surge will continue over the next four to six weeks. Our objective during this time is to slow the rate of infection, and limit the number of people who are affected at a given point in time. I want to reinforce that in addition to keeping vaccinations current with a booster (which reduces the risk of serious illness and hospitalization), it is imperative that we commit to wearing face coverings while in indoor, congregate settings. Masks are required in all classrooms, labs, and common areas such as offices, study lounges, hallways, library spaces, and places where others are present (with obvious exceptions, such as dining and certain fitness center activities). Students, ticket-holders and all those attending basketball games at McCarthey Center and sporting events indoors are required to wear masks at all times.
Our experience has shown us that each of us can have an impact – on our own health, as well as the health of others, not to mention the healthcare community which is seriously stressed at this time. We all must be active participants in the work of successfully navigating this circumstance. I sincerely appreciate your continued support and engagement as we together move through – and beyond – the current wave of COVID-19. Thank you.