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Updated COVID-19 Campus Guidelines Effective Oct. 4

Creighton masksWith promising data of COVID-19 infections declining nationally and regionally, combined with Creighton’s overall vaccination rates, the University is adjusting its guidelines around wearing face coverings on its campuses, effective Monday, Oct. 4.

The University had previously announced a series of guidelines, which took effect Sept. 1 and were set for review by Oct. 1. Some of those guidelines will remain the same, while some have been updated to reflect current public health and campus conditions.

In reviewing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – and in consultation with University health experts, student leaders and the University’s Pandemic Response and Oversight Team – Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, has approved the following updates.

Classrooms and Labs
Under the updated guidelines, students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in classrooms and laboratories.

However, to protect patient populations who may be vulnerable to transmission of the virus, the University is requiring all health sciences students to continue to wear face coverings in all of their classes and laboratories.

This requirement covers medical, nursing, dental, occupational therapy, physical therapy, pharmacy, emergency medical services and physician assistant students.

Because our health sciences students either have direct contact with patients or interact closely with faculty and other students in their programs who do, this is required of all health sciences students, regardless of their clinical participation.

Like all Creighton students, our health sciences students are required to be vaccinated. However, studies have shown that vaccinated individuals can be infected with the virus, including the Delta variant, and transmit it to others.

Requiring health sciences students to wear face coverings in their classes and laboratories is designed to minimize this risk.

In addition, faculty and staff may request accommodations through Human Resources; contact (402) 280-2709 or humanresources@creighton.edu. Students may request accommodations through the Disability Services Portal, or by contacting (402) 280-2195, disabilityservices@creighton.edu. Students may be required to wear a face covering in a particular class and will be notified accordingly.

Health Sciences Facilities
As an additional precaution, the University will continue to require that face coverings be worn in all spaces in the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Health Sciences Building in Phoenix, as well as the Cardiac Center, Boyne Building, Bio-Information Center (BIC) and School of Dentistry Building on Creighton’s Omaha campus.

Other Indoor Spaces and Events
The updated guidelines strongly recommend that face coverings be worn and/or appropriate social distancing be maintained in other classrooms, labs, studios, and indoor community, event and meeting spaces on our Omaha campus. (Again, face coverings are required in all spaces inside our Phoenix facility.) It is also strongly recommended that face coverings be worn at indoor athletic venues during athletic competitions and other events.

In addition, all unvaccinated students, faculty and staff and all University guests, regardless of their vaccination status, are expected to wear a face covering while indoors on campus.

With vaccinations now available for younger populations, any in-person, on-campus event or activity attended by youth ages 11 and younger (as opposed to 16 and younger) will require all participants to wear a face covering.

What Else Can You Do?
Stay home if you are feeling ill, and continue to practice other precautionary measures, such as frequent and thorough handwashing. For links to testing options, and other information, please visit Creighton’s COVID-19 response website.

Get your flu shot. Creighton’s annual Shoo the Flu campaign begins in October in Omaha and Phoenix.

Get your booster shot, if you’re eligible. Please consult your health care provider. COVID-19 booster shots are available for the following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients who completed their initial series at least six months ago:

  • 65 years and older
  • 18-plus who have an underlying medical condition
  • 18-plus who work in high-risk settings
  • 18-plus who live in high-risk settings

Please Note
Scientists are increasingly indicating that there will be cyclical fluctuations in COVID-19 infections. Therefore, the University will continue to closely monitor global, national, local and campus trends and data, and adjust its response accordingly.

The commitment of students, faculty and staff to follow the University’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies is reflective of our spirit of community and our care and concern for others – and it has allowed the University to be flexible and nimble in its response.

Your continued vigilance in following these guidelines is appreciated.

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