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Together We Will Remain Healthy at Thomas More (july 1, 2021)

I hope each of you is enjoying the summer with family, friends, and some time away from the obligations of work and school. I am thankful to each of you for the hard work you put into making this past academic year a success for our community. Your resiliency and dedication spoke volumes about the strength of Thomas More University. While COVID-19 remains, it is no longer a crisis, and we are able to advance our return to normalcy. I am pleased to share with you that Thomas More will return to a fully on-campus student experience for the fall 2021 semester.

On June 11, Governor Beshear lifted the statewide mask mandate and ended capacity restrictions. In addition, the CDC and U.S. Department of Education released updated recommendations for higher education. The Covid Response Team has been working through the details to develop an updated plan for the remainder of the summer and the upcoming fall semester. These are the newest additions to the plan.

Return to fall semester

The fall semester will begin on Monday, August 16. The academic calendar for 2021-2022 depicts a normal schedule with a fall mid-term break, Thanksgiving holiday, spring break, and Easter recess. All residence and dining halls, athletic facilities, areas of worship, and on-campus student services and resources are fully re-opened.

All resident students must provide a negative test result or proof of vaccination prior to returning to housing. The test result must be from a test taken four days prior to arrival on campus. The test result or vaccination record must be submitted at least 24 hours in advance of arrival. All athletes must provide a negative test result or proof of vaccination to participate in athletics. The test result must be from a test taken four days prior to participation and submitted at least 24 hours in advance. Additional information will be sent to resident students and student-athletes from the dean of student diversity, engagement, and success.

Facilities and services

All residence and dining halls, athletic facilities, areas of worship, and on-campus student services and resources will be fully re-opened. Beginning immediately, all physical distancing requirements are removed.

Vaccination

CDC continues to recommend covid vaccination to protect ourselves and our community. For those who have not yet been vaccinated, we encourage you to consider vaccination in consultation with your health care provider. St. Elizabeth Healthcare has provided several informative resources regarding the vaccine. To find a vaccine location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.

At Thomas More, fully vaccinated individuals can:

  • Resume on-campus activities without wearing masks
  • Refrain from testing and quarantine before and after travel
  • Refrain from testing and quarantine following a known exposure to COVID-19 if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from any screening testing that may be required

Once vaccinated, please submit your vaccination record through MyTMU. This information will be used to track the vaccination rate of our community and when needed to identify individuals who may need to be tested or quarantined during screening or contact tracing. Except in the cases of screening and contact tracing by the covid response team, no employee or student may be asked about their vaccination status.

Travel

Any student or employee traveling out of the country must report this travel to the dean of student diversity, engagement, and success (students) or human resources (employees). Individuals are required to quarantine for 10 days after arrival or 7 days after arrival with a negative test result from a test taken 3 days after arrival. Vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine following travel.

Quarantine

In order to continue protecting our community, vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals should continue to self-monitor for covid symptoms. If you have symptoms, test positive for covid, or have interacted within 48 hours with an individual who has tested positive, contact campus safety at 859.341.4867. We will continue to isolate positive cases and symptomatic individuals and quarantine unvaccinated individuals when necessary due to travel or exposure. The University will assist resident students who test positive for covid and are not able to return home, but all costs associated with off-campus isolation will be the responsibility of the student.

Any absences from class related to quarantine will continue to be considered excused absences. Each faculty member will determine the appropriate method to provide reasonable and equitable means to make up missed work. Our quarantine academic support team will continue to support students who must be placed in quarantine.

Additional updates are available through our Healthy at Thomas More guidelines. Until COVID-19 is no longer a threat, the University Covid Response Team will continue to review all CDC, state, and local health department guidelines, manage cases on campus, and monitor key indicators to adjust our response if needed. If for any reason we need to adjust our plans for the fall semester, we will communicate those changes promptly.

I hope each of you has an enjoyable and relaxing summer. I look forward to welcoming our community back to campus in the new year.

Sincerely, President Chillo