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Holy Cross College will no longer update the COVID-19 dashboard beginning March 14, 2022.

COVID-19 Information and Updates


Holy Cross College COVID-19 update, March 2, 2022

Total positive cases: 25

We have no active COVID-19 cases at Holy Cross. Students who test positive for COVID-19 are placed in supportive isolation and are monitored by our contact tracing and support team led by Tom DeHorn, Director of Counseling and Health. The total number of positive cases since the start of the spring semester is 25.

The number we report in campus updates represents all community members including students, faculty, and staff. Student tests are conducted both on and off-campus, with results reported to the Health Center. Employee tests are conducted on and off-campus and reported to Human Resources.

During the Fall 2021 semester, Holy Cross College identified 10 total positive cases. Those numbers included students, faculty, and staff.

Protocols

Booster Requirement
As was announced in December, Holy Cross College is requiring of all students the booster because of its ability to prevent serious illness. The deadline for booster verification is Friday, January 21.

• Please share your booster verification information with Tom DeHorn ([email protected]) or Marie Oliva ([email protected]) by January 21st.
• If you are not able to receive the booster before returning to campus, please plan to schedule one in the South Bend community as soon as possible. Many of the local stores (CVS and Walgreens) have daily appointments, and they can easily be scheduled online.
• For information about a booster exemption, please email me ([email protected]). Those who have already received an exemption from the vaccination requirement are exempted from the requirement to receive a booster. Those that are not fully vaccinated (both vaccinated and boosted) will be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing.
• If you have tested positive for COVID over break, you are encouraged to share that information, as it will delay your deadline for the booster. You are also encouraged to receive a negative COVID test before returning to campus. Do not return to campus if you are in isolation because you have tested positive for COVID or have any COVID symptoms.

Testing Protocols
Throughout the semester, we urge anyone experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms to stay at home, call their medical provider, contact Nurse Susan ([email protected] or 917-386-4103), and, as appropriate, get tested. Even if you are negative for COVID, please wear your mask indoors on campus while symptoms persist to avoid spreading illness.

As was true in the fall semester, fully vaccinated students will not be subject to regular mandatory weekly COVID testing. However, any student who is asked to report for COVID testing must report as requested. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to report for weekly COVID testing.

Isolation and Quarantine Protocols
• Fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID will be required to isolate for five days (adjusted from the previous requirement of 10 days). Assuming they are symptom-free, they may return to their normal activities after five days, while masking for an additional five days. Unvaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID will be required to isolate for five days and be required to test on day 5. Assuming symptoms are resolving, and the day 5 test is negative, they may return to their normal activities while masking for the next five days. If the day 5 test is positive, an additional 5 days of isolation is required.
• Fully vaccinated individuals who are deemed close contacts no longer need to quarantine but will be required to mask for five days while monitoring for any symptoms, and test on the fifth day.
• Those not fully vaccinated who are deemed close contacts will be required to quarantine for five days and will need a negative test before returning to normal activities.
• Those that test positive for COVID and live on-campus will be given the opportunity to isolate themselves in a space designated by the College. However, students that need to isolate (or quarantine) that live in the geographic area (within 150 miles) will be encouraged to isolate at home or a family-approved location. If you live in the region, please take time now to consider if you would be able to isolate yourself at home or with a family member should it be necessary.

Resources and information

The tabs below provide updates and useful information related to COVID-19.

Student emergency financial aid grants

The CARES Act (Section 18004(a)(1)) provides emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted due to coronavirus and are now facing financial challenges.

On April 16th, 2020 Holy Cross College signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education, and commits to using no less than 50% of the funds received through the CARES Act to provide these emergency financial aid grants to eligible Holy Cross College students.

On April 25th, 2020, Holy Cross College received $234,796 from the Department of Education in emergency financial aid grants.

 

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for these funds, students must be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
For the Spring 2020 semester, 274 Holy Cross College students were deemed eligible for Emergency CARES funds based on information provided in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

 

Distribution

In directing assistance to those eligible for federal funds, the CARES Act identifies the criteria as “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”

Holy Cross College developed the following fourfold process and formula to distribute the funds:

  1. On May 5th, all eligible students were notified of their eligibility for a $300 grant. They were also given the chance to decline the award and ask that it be redistributed to students in greater need. A total of 268 students accepted these grants totaling $80,400.
  2. Students were also invited to apply for additional funds by sharing (confidentially) how they have been impacted by the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. Requests were capped at $6,000 to ensure that funds could be distributed to as many students as possible. These requests total $67,720.
  3. The College also wanted to ensure that funds went to students who were known to be in economically fragile situations. The College directed a portion of funds to students identified as most at risk by using a combination of formulas that took into account both the student’s EFC (expected family contribution) as well as the gap between the EFC and the cost to attend Holy Cross College. Students were granted either the greater of their additional funding request or the formula amount for students in economically fragile situations. For example, if a student requested an additional $300, but the formula indicated they should receive $500 additional, the student received $500. If the student requested $800 additional and gave good reason, and the formula indicated they should receive $500, the student received $800. In addition, based on informal and formal conversations and emails with the Dean of Students regarding challenges due to the disruption of campus operations before the formal request process was developed, some students were awarded additional aid. These disbursements total $74,580.
  4. Since the regulations ask colleges to consider “each student’s particular socioeconomic circumstances in the staging and administration of these grants,” we will reserve the remaining funds to apply case by case to those students who have entered into a different social-economic situation because of the disruption created by the pandemic.

As of May 22, 2020, the College has disbursed $222,700 to 268 eligible students.

As of July 6th, 2020, the College has disbursed $225,700 to 268 eligible students.

As of August 6th, 2020, the College has disbursed $226,700 to 268 eligible students.

As of September 30, 2020, the College has disbursed $228,700 to 268 eligible students.

As of December 31, 2020, the College has disbursed $231,185 to 269 eligible students.

As of March 31, 2021, the College has disbursed $234,796 to 269 eligible students.

 

HCC CARES Fund

In addition to the disbursal of federal funds, we have established a fund through generous donations to assist those students who are ineligible to receive federal assistance. On May 5, these students were sent a letter inviting them to share financial hardships due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Based on these responses, we have awarded $18,780 to 27 Holy Cross College students.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), Holy Cross College (the “College”) automatically received an additional $234,796 in Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants.  This additional funding was made available to the College on January 19th, 2021.

The CRRSAA requires that the College publicly report the following information:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department (of Education) the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used the applicable amount of funds designated under the CRRSAA (a)(1) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

 

Since the College received CARES Act funds, it was not required to apply again for CRRSAA funds.  The College has set aside the required $234,796 of its total CRRSAA distribution for Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

 

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department (of Education) pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program.

The College received a total CRRSAA distribution of $682,060, of which $234,796 has been set aside for Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program.

 

As of March 31st, 2021, the College has disbursed $203,900 to 196 students under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program.

As of June 30th, 2021, the College has disbursed $234,796 to 219 students under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program.

 

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution that are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program.

At the time of the initial distributions of CRRSAA, the College identified 236 students that were eligible to receive Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants based on successful filing of the Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA).

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under CRRSAA (a)(1) program.

 

As of March 31st, 2021, the College has disbursed $203,900 to 196 students under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program.

 

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program.

 

The CRRSAA emphasized that Student Financial Aid Grants be allocated to students demonstrating exceptional need.  Similar to the process used by the College for distributing Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act, the College used a multi-faceted formula to allocate its CRRSAA Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students.

 

All recipients of Pell Grants received the highest base award.  Those Pell Recipients who also showed the highest remaining need were given an additional allocation.  Students who did not receive Pell Grants, but whose expected family contribution was less than $10,000 also received an initial allocation.

 

A portion of the total allocation was held back from the initial awards to allow all students who may or may have not received any initial allocation to apply directly to the Dean and Vice President of Student Life for assistance.

 

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

All students receiving an initial allocation based on the College’s formula were sent an email which notified them of their award and invited them to accept the award through an online form.  Through the form, students were able to accept the award, decline the award and/or request additional funds.  They were also given the opportunity to have their award applied towards their student account balance (if applicable), or receive their award in the form of a check.

An email was also sent out to all eligible students who did not receive initial allocations based on the College’s formula, inviting them to apply for the Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants directly via email through the Dean and Vice President of Student Life.

A final email notice was sent to all students receiving an award, informing them of their final award amount, and that it would be processed as requested through the initial online form.

Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”), Holy Cross College (the “College”) automatically received an additional $596,140 in Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants.  This additional funding was made available to the College on May 18th, 2021. Through March 31st, 2022, the entire combined allocation of $1,065,732 in Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants has been disbursed to 477 non-duplicated students.

The total amount of Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants, including funds received under the CARES Act, CRRSAA and ARPA is $1,065,732. Through December 31st, 2021, a total of $498,392 in Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants has been distributed to 378 non-duplicated students.

The ARPA requires that the College publicly report the following information:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used the applicable amount of funds designated under the ARPA (a)(1) program to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
    Since the College received CARES Act funds, it was not required to apply again for ARPA funds.  The full amount of the allocation for Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants has been set aside for that purpose.
  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the ARPA (a)(1) program.
    The College has received $596,140 for Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the ARPA (a)(1) program.
  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under ARPA as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the initial report and every calendar quarter thereafter).
    As of September 30th, 2021, the College has disbursed $12,250 of Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 7 students under the ARPA (a)(1) program.As of December 31st, 2021, the College has disbursed $28,800 of Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 15 students under the ARPA (a)(1) program. As of March 31st, 2022, the College has disbursed the entire $596,140 allocation of Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 217 students under the ARPA (a)(1) program.
  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution that are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the ARPA (a)(1) program.
    Since Title IV eligibility is no longer required for students to receive these funds, the College has identified 425 currently enrolled students to be eligible to receive funding under the ARPA (a)(1) program.
  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under the ARPA (a)(1) program.
    As of September 30, 2021, 7 students have received Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the ARPA (a)(1) program. As of December 31, 2021, 15 students have received Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the ARPA (a)(1) program. As of March 31st, 2022, 217 students have received Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the ARPA (a)(1) program.
  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under the ARPA (a)(1) programs.
    Through September 30th, 2021, and December 31st, 2021, disbursements to students have been made after direct application to the Vice President for Student Life and have ranged between $1000-$3250.  The majority of ARPA (a)(1) funds were disbursed in January of 2022 based on a multi-faceted formula taking into account a combination of financial aid factors such as Pell eligibility, family estimated financial contribution, and remaining need to full cost of attendance.  Some non-Title IV distributions were made as well, mostly based on need.  Any funds left over after this main distribution were awarded to students after direct application to the Vice President for Student Life.
  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
    Through September 30th, 2021 and December 31st, 2021, students communicating financial hardship due to COVID to various employees and offices of the College have been individually invited to request the Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants through the Vice President of Student Life.  For the January distributions, students were notified of their grant and invited to pick up a check at the Office of Student Accounts.  Students were also told they could request in writing that their grant be disbursed against their student account balance, and that unclaimed checks after two weeks may be forfeited to other students in need.

January 2, 2022

Dear Saints,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope you are all enjoying the final week of break and I look forward to your return to campus. Students are reminded that classes begin on Monday, January 10th. The residence halls open and meal plans begin on Sunday, January 9th (on-campus students will find their keys in their campus mailboxes).

Given the high transmissibility and rapid spread of the Omicron variant, today I share a number of updates regarding our health and safety protocols. Holy Cross is committed to in-person learning while at the same time is also committed to keeping everyone on the campus and local communities as safe as possible. In particular, there is a need to show extra diligence during the first weeks of the semester as it is during this time that Omicron is expected to peak. I am confident in our ability to adapt to changing circumstances so that we can remain here at Holy Cross and flourish in a learning environment that offers an education of the mind and heart. I thank you all in advance for your ongoing flexibility and your care for the common good as we work together to navigate the current challenges.

Booster Requirement
As was announced in December, Holy Cross College is requiring of all students the booster because of its ability to prevent serious illness. As we approach the first day of classes on January 10, please receive a vaccination booster as soon as possible, as it takes 10-14 days for the booster to take full effect. The deadline for booster verification has now been set for Friday, January 21. You are highly encouraged to receive the booster before returning to campus. Those that have recently had COVID (within the last 90 days) or have only recently received the original vaccine have an extended deadline.

• Please share your booster verification information with Tom DeHorn ([email protected]) or Marie Oliva ([email protected]) by January 21st.
• If you are not able to receive the booster before returning to campus, please plan to schedule one in the South Bend community as soon as possible. Many of the local stores (CVS and Walgreens) have daily appointments and they can easily be scheduled on-line.
• For information about a booster exemption please email me ([email protected]). Those who have already received an exemption from the vaccination requirement are exempted from the requirement to receive a booster. Those that are not fully vaccinated (both vaccinated and boosted) will be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing.
• If you have tested positive for COVID over break, you are encouraged to share that information as it will delay your deadline for the booster. You are also encouraged to receive a negative COVID test before returning to campus. Do not return to campus if you are in isolation because you have tested positive for COVID or have any COVID symptoms.

Masking
Guests (anyone not a member of the tri-campus community) will be required to mask when indoors on campus.

Please be aware that there are areas in the tri-campus that will require masks when indoors even if you are vaccinated and boosted. Please follow all tri-campus and community masking policies and carry a mask at all times.

As has been true throughout the pandemic, we strongly encourage anyone who feels more comfortable masking—for any reason and without needing to offer an explanation—to do so.

Testing Protocols
Throughout the semester, we urge anyone experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms to stay at home, call their medical provider, contact Nurse Susan ([email protected] or 917-386-4103), and, as appropriate, get tested. Even if you are negative for COVID, please wear your mask indoors on campus while symptoms persist to avoid spreading illness.

As was true in the Fall Semester, fully vaccinated students will not be subject to regular mandatory weekly COVID testing. However, any student who is asked to report for a COVID testing must report as requested. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to report for weekly COVID testing.

Isolation and Quarantine Protocols
Given the recent updated guidance from the CDC and in consultation with public health officials, Holy Cross has modified its isolation and quarantine protocols as follows:
• Fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID will be required to isolate for five days (adjusted from the previous requirement of 10 days). Assuming they are symptom-free, they may return to their normal activities after five days, while masking for an additional five days. Unvaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID will be required to isolate for five days and required to test on day 5. Assuming symptoms are resolving and the day 5 test is negative, they may return to their normal activities while masking for the next five days. If the day 5 test is positive, an additional 5 days of isolation is required.
• Fully vaccinated individuals who are deemed close contacts no longer need to quarantine but will be required to mask for five days while monitoring for any symptoms, and test on the fifth day.
• Those not fully vaccinated who are deemed close contacts will be required to quarantine for five days and will need a negative test before returning to normal activities.
• Those that test positive for COVID and live on-campus will be given the opportunity to isolate in a space designated by the college. However, students that need to isolate (or quarantine) that live in the geographic area (within 150 miles) will be encouraged to isolate at home or a family approved location. If you live in the region please take time now to consider if you would be able to isolate at home or with a family member should it be necessary.

We realize that many of us are weary of following COVID protocols. I also want our community to remember and know that our sensible and reasonable response to COVID has in fact kept our community healthy and safe. The number of students that have contracted the virus has remained low, and most importantly zero students have experienced serious illness or have required hospitalization. Thank you for your continued resilience and your efforts to be Scholars, Citizens, Leaders, and Disciples. Know of my prayers for you and your loved ones as you make final preparations to return to campus.

Spes Unica
Dean Polaniecki

 

___________________________________________________________________________________

October 29, 2021

Hello Saints,

I hope you all have adjusted back to campus life after fall break.  The remainder of the semester will go very quickly and so it is important to stay focused on your goals.  I have a number of items and updates to share with you.

  1. Although our COVID 19 cases remain very low (we had 1 on-campus positive case this week), it is important to continue to be aware of our personal wellness and be attentive to behaviors that we know can prevent or decrease the risk of transmission.  If you experience any COVID symptoms or if you are informed that you have been exposed to COVID (even if you are vaccinated) please contact Nurse Susan ([email protected] or 917-386-4103).
  2. With another home game tomorrow and Halloween this weekend, there will be many opportunities to again enjoy social interaction.  Enjoy the fellowship that comes with these experiences, but I also ask that everyone consider their own safety and the safety of others.  Always stay with friends, avoid locations where others are making unsafe or poor decisions, and do not accept drinks from strangers.   Staying home in the tri-campus is one the best ways to reduce the risk of finding yourself in an unsafe situation.  If you find yourself in an unsafe situation call campus safety/security (574-239-8312) or 911.
  3. Every Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. in the Student Union kitchen, and every Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. in the dining hall, there is a free late night snack.  Feel free to make these events part of your routine.  They are great opportunities to eat food and share in fellowship.  You do not need to be on a meal plan to partake.
  4. The Spes Unica Retreat begins tonight and continues through the day on Sunday.  Please keep the members of our college community on this retreat in your prayers.
  5. This coming Monday the Church celebrates All Saints Day.  May the Saints in heaven intercede for all Holy Cross College Saints.  Additionally, on Thursday of next week (November 4th) at 7:00 p.m. in the Driscoll Auditorium, Dr. Anne Maloney will be given the Mind & Heart Lecture.  The title of her talk is You Say You Want a Revolution: What the Hook-Up Culture Has Done to Women.
  6. Each year Holy Cross completes the EADA (Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act) survey.  Completion of this survey is a requirement of the federal government for any institution of higher education participating in a Title IV, federal student financial assistance program, and have an intercollegiate athletic program.  The annual report, submitted to the Department of Education, includes information on athletic participation, staffing, and revenues and expenses, by men’s and women’s teams.  The 2021 EADA can be found here.  A paper copy of this report can be requested by sending an email to me ([email protected]).

I pray that your hearts and minds continue to be open to the formative experience of Holy Cross and that you all have an enjoyable and safe weekend.

Spes Unica

Dean Polaniecki

 

___________________________________________________________________________________

September 24, 2021

Dear Students,

Fall is knocking on our door.  I am looking forward to the change of season and have even noticed a few red leaves on the maples on O’Connor Commons.

  1. Monday and Tuesday are our Flu Shot clinic.  If you have not yet signed up for an appointment, please do so ASAP.  Make An Appointment
  2. If you are an on-campus student, including Holy Cross U-Edge, you will soon receive an email about Fall Break from housing coordinator Marie Oliva, which will include information as to how to request permission to stay on campus during the break.
  3. On Wednesday morning of next week (September 29th) at 6:00 a.m., there will be another scheduled brief power outage.  The outage is scheduled to be no more than a minute or two.
  4. Tomorrow, Saturday, there will be a campus game watch in the Student Union for the Notre vs. Wisconsin football game (Noon).
  5. Late-night snacks will once again be available on their regular nights of Sunday at 8:30 p.m. (after Mass) in the Student Union and again on Wednesday in the dining hall at 8:00 p.m.

I am also happy to report that there were no new COVID cases at Holy Cross this week.  Thank you for all that you continue to do to keep our campus healthy.  Have a fun, safe, and enjoyable weekend.

Spes Unica

Dean Polaniecki

___________________________________________________________________________________

September 17, 2021

Dear Students,

It looks to be another beautiful weekend here in Notre Dame, Indiana.  Please enjoy all that the weekend has to offer, but please do so in a safe manner.  I am happy to report that we have had no new COVID cases since my email last week (our total for the year is 1 positive case).  Please continue to monitor your own health and follow all COVID protocols.

Flu Shot: As announced last week, Holy Cross will be requiring the flu vaccine.  The flu shot clinic will take place in the Pfeil Tent on Monday, September 27th and Tuesday, September 28th.  The vaccine is offered free of charge to all students.  Please sign-up today! Flu Shot Sign Up.

Building Hours: On Saturday and Sunday, the Vincent and Driscoll building will open at 10:00 am.  Every day of the week the building remains open until 1:00 am.  Please note that in the evening the building can only be accessed by the doors near the Driscoll auditorium, the Driscoll lounge, and Ave Brew.  The Dining Hall and Chapel building will be locked at 12:00 am Sunday – Thursday and 1:00 am on Friday and Saturday.

Late Night Food:  Evening snacks will be offered every Wednesday evening at 8:00 p.m. in the dining hall and Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m. in the kitchen area in the Student Union.  Meal plans are not required to partake in these snacks.

Fall Break:  The break begins after classes on Friday, October 15th.  Anyone that plans to stay on campus past Saturday, October 16th or return prior to Saturday, October 23rd will need to request permission (details regarding how to request permission will be shared at a future point).  Those that are part of a team that will be on campus for  break will not be required to individually request permission to stay (coaches will be submitting rosters).

I pray that you all have a relaxing, fun, and safe weekend.

Go Irish!

Go Saints!

Spes Unica

Dean Polaniecki

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

September 10, 2021

Dear Students,

We are now a full 3 weeks into the semester and many of you are settling into a good routine of academic work balanced with your many other obligations.

This week our campus saw its first positive COVID case.  Whether or not you are vaccinated, please continue to be mindful regarding your personal health, follow COVID policies, and practice mitigation efforts.  If at any point you experience COVID symptoms, please message me, the Hall Director/Assistant Hall Director on Duty, or Nurse Susan ([email protected] 917-386-4103).

Once again Holy Cross will be requiring the flu shot for all students.  On September 27th and 28th there will be a free on-campus flu shot clinic that will make receiving the shot easy and convenient.  More information regarding logistics and sign-up will be shared in the coming weeks.

Tomorrow will be a beautiful day to enjoy the first home game for Notre Dame football.  Cheering on the Irish is exciting and will include many opportunities for recreation and social activities.  However, I also remind everyone of the importance of safety and the need to have a plan for good decision-making.  This weekend is an opportunity to stand out as a Scholar, Citizen, Leader, and Disciple.  We are all share responsibility when it comes to the promotion of the common good.  May we all model what it means to be a Saint in the coming days.

Holy Cross College will commemorate and remember the events of 9/11 today.  Please consider attending the 2:00 p.m. event at the flagpole in the front of Vincent Atrium.  On Sunday, you are encouraged to end your weekend by gathering for prayer at the 7:30 p.m. student liturgy in St. Joseph Chapel.  All are welcome.

My only housekeeping item for the week is the need to be more attentive to dining hall expectations.  The amount of food on the floor and the number of dishes being left on tables are not appropriate.  Students are responsible for the cleanliness of their area and for ensuring that dishes are properly placed at the dish window.  Thank you for giving extra attention to this particular matter.

Have a great weekend.  Go, Irish!  Go, Saints!

Spes Unica

Dean Polaniecki

___________________________________________________________________________________

August 18, 2021

Dear Students,

It has been so good to see the buzz around campus the last few days.  Faculty are making final preparations for their courses.  Resident Assistants have prepared their halls and are ready for the arrival of students.  Our soccer teams have begun play.  New students have much to look forward to as move-in and Welcome Weekend approaches.  Also approaching quickly is our first day of classes and HoCro Nation on Monday the 23rd, culminating with a firework show at 9:00 p.m.!

Welcome Weekend details, including the full schedule, can be found here: Welcome Weekend – Holy Cross (hcc-nd.edu).

All students are reminded that COVID vaccine documentation needs to be on-file with the college before move-in or attending any classes.  For those that have received an exemption from the vaccine, masks will be required when indoors.  Of course there are many reasons to wear a mask and it will be important for students to have a mask at all times in case you enter a location where it is required.  During Welcome Weekend, all guests, whether vaccinated or not, will be required to wear a mask while indoors.

Beginning Monday, August 23rd, to help keep our residential spaces safe, no outside guests (which includes ND and SMC students) are permitted in the dorms or University Edge.  However, Holy Cross students are allowed to visit any dorm on campus (including UEDGE).

Although there will not be a daily health check sent to your phone each morning, each student should evaluate their own health on a daily basis.  If at any point you experience COVID symptoms, please email or call Nurse Susan Feeley (917-386-4103 or [email protected]).  Until you are cleared by the Nurse or directed to receive a COVID test, you should wear a mask and not be in close contact with others.

If you are looking for an on-campus job, the dining hall is in need of several student workers.  If you are interested in a position, which pays $12 per hour, please contact Bill Krusniak ([email protected]).  If you are interested in working as the student mail-clerk, please message Marie Oliva ([email protected]).

All new students are required to complete our education video program regarding a positive community experience, and the consideration of self and others. The Safe Colleges Training Videos, which have already been sent to your email inbox, must be completed before your arrival to campus. Please let me know if you have questions about this requirement.

I pray that you all have a safe trip to campus and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Spes Unica

Dean Polaniecki

___________________________________________________________________________________

August 9, 2021

Dear Students and Families,

Educating the mind and heart is at the center of all that we do at Holy Cross.  We do this best when we are in-person gathered around seminar tables, together researching in the lab, competing on the field and court, sharing a meal, and praying together as we strive to become the Saint that God calls each of us to be.  The COVID vaccine has created a pathway for our return to normal and it is good that we can look forward to these opportunities.

Most students will be arriving to campus vaccinated or in the process of being vaccinated.  We are thankful for this as it shows care for your health and the health of the community.  If you have not already done so, please submit your vaccine documentation today.  Those that have not submitted documentation will not be allowed to move-in.

As I indicated in my email from last week, masks are not required for students, faculty, and staff that are vaccinated.  Those that are exempt from the COVID vaccine will be required to wear masks when indoors and physical distancing is not possible.  If we do have any positive COVID cases on campus, those that are traced to be a close contact but are vaccinated will not be required to quarantine.

As Welcome Weekend approaches, we would like to share some important updates.  With increasing COVID cases and the concern over the Delta variant, family members and friends that are not vaccinated or at risk to COVID may at this time want to give careful consideration to travel plans.  Not only do we want individuals to be attentive to what is best for their own health, but we also expect guests to consider the health and well-being of our campus community.  Welcome Weekend is a special moment for all of our students, but it is important that prudence prevails in decision making so that we can begin the school year in a safe manner that will ensure our ability to remain in-person throughout the duration of the entire semester.  A good start is important to a strong finish!  Here are some important things to consider as you each family considers their own plans for move-in.

All guests will be expected to wear masks when indoors and physical distancing is not possible (except when eating or drinking).

Although a negative COVID test is not required this year by Holy Cross to come to campus, it is certainly encouraged.  Particularly it is encouraged for those that may be traveling by airplane and for those not vaccinated.

We are not limiting the number of guests at move-in, but each family ought to carefully consider what is safe and what helps to protect our college community.

Our Friday dinner will not include a formal program this year and will instead provide the option of eating outdoors and will include some staggering and spacing to help limit the number of people eating at one time.

In general, we hope guests will limit the amount of time spent indoors gathering in groups.

Students should be aware that certain places at Notre Dame that have a large number of guests regularly present (like the Bookstore and Duncan Student Center) will be requiring masks and so it is a good idea to carry a mask at all times.

We continue to pray and hope for an end to the challenges and very real sufferings created by COVID.  I know our community to be resilient.  I know our community cares for the common good.  I pray for your safe travel to campus and I look forward to welcoming you to campus as our newest Saints!

Spes Unica

Dean Polaniecki

 

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July 29, 2021

Dear Students,

In just a few short weeks we will all be on campus to begin a new semester together.  I have enjoyed the summer months, but like all of you I am excited about our upcoming year.

The pandemic has been challenging for all of us in a variety of ways.  Although we still need to be mindful of our health and wellness, we are hopeful that much of the day-to-day experience of the campus community will be without many of the restrictions that were necessary last year.  It has been welcome news that areas with high vaccine rates have resulted in lower COVID cases and deaths.  This data shows that receiving the vaccine helps to keep communities safe and protects the most vulnerable.  The COVID vaccine is important to the health of our community and so if you have not already received the vaccine please make plans to do so as soon as possible.  If you have received the vaccine but have not yet submitted documentation to the College please, do this as soon as possible (documentation should be sent to Mr. Tom DeHorn [email protected]).

Students will not be allowed to move-in or attend classes if appropriate documentation has not been submitted.  Any questions about the required COVID vaccine or exemptions from the vaccine can be directed to me ([email protected]).

Because of our high rates of COVID-19 vaccination, it is our plan that those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks on campus.  Those that have received a COVID vaccine exemption on-file with the college will be required to wear a mask when in-doors when physical distancing is not possible.  In addition to not being vaccinated, there are a number of additional reasons why someone might continue to wear a mask. Some additional reasons to wear a mask include a need to protect an at-risk family member, personal peace of mind, or working with people from outside the community.  It is important that we continue to be welcoming and respectful of each others’ decisions and personal circumstances, so please keep this in mind as you meet others throughout Welcome Week and the entire fall semester.

To continue to keep our campus safe, Holy Cross will also promote wellness through appropriate health checks, symptomatic testing, effective cleaning of campus spaces, quarantine and isolation according to national guidelines, and an encouragement of personal hygiene efforts.

Holy Cross will continue to monitor the state of COVID, particularly the new and concerning updates regarding the Delta variant, as well as the federal and state recommendations and guidelines. The College will continue to consult with national and local health officials as well as with our tri-campus partners to review and adapt our policies as needed to keep the College community safe.

Soon I will send another letter containing Welcome Weekend information as well as other exciting updates from the summer and what to expect on campus for the fall semester.

Enjoy these final weeks of summer!

Spes Unica

Dean Polaniecki

___________________________________________________________________________________

June 23, 2021

Dear Students,

We are looking forward to our students returning to campus in August for the Fall 2021 semester. We are so pleased to put many of the concerns related to COVID-19 behind us when we come back together.  Students are reminded that they are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to campus. New Students can upload documentation of the vaccine through their new student portal while returning students should send documentation to Mr. Tom DeHorn ([email protected]). For those wishing to receive an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine because of medical or health reasons, please email Dean Polaniecki ([email protected]) to initiate the process.

The vaccine requirement is centered on a concern for the common good and is the key factor that will allow our campus to return to a normal day-to-day rhythm of learning. Being together, forming healthy relationships, staying safe and healthy, and growing to be scholars, citizens, leaders, and disciples is the work of Holy Cross College.  Thank you for doing your part to help make this possible for everyone.

Spes Unica

Dean Polaniecki

Thankfully, the COVID transmission numbers have significantly decreased in our county and region. After reviewing and considering CDC guidelines, we are putting forth the following protocols for June and July.

  • No masks or physical distancing is required for fully vaccinated faculty and staff; masks indoors are required for faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated.
  • No masks are required outside.
  • Visitors to campus will be asked to wear masks indoors.

We are still discussing protocols for our limited camps and will communicate with those involved directly. We hope to make decisions on these very soon.

Since reducing campus density is no longer necessary, we are asking that staff who are working remotely return to the office starting July 1 if not sooner. However, if remote work is reasonable for your work and acceptable with your supervisor, reasonable accommodations could be made to create a hybrid schedule as has already been done in certain offices on campus.

Ave Crux Spes Unica,

Justin Watson            Monica Markovich

Provost                         Vice President for Finance

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear faculty and staff,

We hope this message finds you healthy and well. When we announced that we were moving to distance learning on March 7th, never did we nor could we imagine how the following months would transpire nor the length of time that we would be apart. We know that the sudden transition required significant adjustments, flexibility, and herculean efforts to do your work in new ways, while worrying and caring for the health and safety of your loved ones. We did all of this while being physically separated and abiding by our stay at home order, knowing that our sacrifice was for the common good of all. Please know of our deep gratitude for all that you have done, and continue to do, to serve our community and fulfill our mission. We know that it was tremendously difficult, and we are in awe of the strength, grit, and tenacity of our community that was once again on display these past months.

Reopening campus and welcoming students back in August will require each of us to call upon the same characteristics: flexibility, tenacity, strength, grit. It will require adaptations and sacrifices from all of us – faculty, staff, and students. Thank you for your patience and your commitment to honoring these expectations, some of which will require us to adjust some of our usual Holy Cross expectations and campus way of life. However, just as drive-by events or virtual sing-alongs have emerged nationwide, and mask-wearing and physical distancing have become much more commonplace, we have every confidence you will bring creativity and ingenuity to the ways you teach, work, and connect to continue to foster an intellectual and residential community that forms Scholars, Citizens, Leaders, and Disciples.

Many of you have had the chance to watch Father Tyson’s video that was shared with the community earlier this week. As he mentioned, we continue to work with our tri-campus partners as well as local, state, and national health officials and we have developed a number of expectations, procedures, and protocols to help ensure a safe semester for everyone. This letter will provide an overview of those expectations. The health and safety practices that are detailed here in this letter are designed to minimize the possibility of COVID-19 infection for all, and especially to avoid exposure for those among us who are most vulnerable to severe illness.

Holy Cross, like Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, is proceeding with caution with our return to campus and beginning conservatively in terms of modifications to facilities, programs, and services. The safety of you, our faculty, and our staff is our top priority, and what scientists know about transmission of the virus continues to evolve. We will continually monitor the effectiveness and necessity of our protocols. We will add additional measures if needed based on the best available medical advice. On the other hand, if we can safely relax some guidelines over time, we will do so.

We thank the members of the reopening committee who have worked diligently to review information, provide input, and develop protocols. We write today to share with you updates on a number of ongoing efforts regarding communications, public health protocols, and policies and decisions that affect our work together. As always, we welcome your input and feedback. This letter is meant for both faculty and staff, and various parts will be more or less relevant for some of you – but we want to provide a full picture to all of you. We will publish the full guidelines and provide an electronic and hard copy to all faculty and staff.

Returning to Campus
While you are still welcome and encouraged to work from home, we are slowly starting to see you return to campus, and it is wonderful to be together again. As the dean of faculty, Dave Lutz, has already communicated, faculty are expected to return to campus August 3. Similarly, staff are expected to return to campus by August 3. However, due to many office setups for many administrative and operational functions of the College, some staff may be asked to work remotely on a part-time basis in order to reduce office density and protect the health and safety of the community. If this is an expectation for you, it will be communicated directly to you by your supervisor.

In addition starting July 6, when you come to campus the following will be expected of you:
Daily Health Checks
All faculty, staff, and students will be expected to perform a health check using an app procured by the College prior to coming to campus (or in the case of students, leaving their dorm room). This app will help the College keep a pulse on the health of the community and provide guidance to those not feeling well. It is anticipated that the app will roll out later in July. In the meantime, we ask that you perform a daily health check using the symptom guidelines set by the CDC, or one of the many free COVID-19 health screening apps available for smartphones. If you present with any symptoms, or just generally do not feel well, do not come to campus. Any faculty or staff who is presenting with symptoms while on campus will be asked to return home. This is not the time to “push through” symptoms.

Masks and Physical Distancing
It has been shown that physical distance and mask wearing both individually reduce the spread of the virus, and together are especially effective. When a distance of a minimum of six feet is not possible or when people are in an enclosed space for an extended period of time, a face covering is crucial.

In light of this, Holy Cross has adopted the following policies:

  • All students, faculty, and staff in a College campus space will be expected to wear face coverings at all times when they are, or may be, in the presence of other individuals within a building, except when alone in a private room (office, residence hall room) or in a private vehicle.
  • Students will be expected to cloth wear face coverings in all common areas of the residence halls, but not within their own room.
  • Visitors to campus will be expected to wear face coverings at all times.

The College will be issuing all members of the Holy Cross community a minimum of two face masks. We also encourage you to purchase additional of your choosing.

Enhanced Sanitation
The College will provide hand sanitizing stations at the main entrances of all buildings and in high-traffic common areas throughout campus. In addition, the facilities team will be cleaning highly trafficked areas and high-touch surfaces more frequently. The College has also purchased an electro-static sprayer that allows us to disinfect large spaces such as Ave Brew Cafe or Driscoll Lounge quickly and effectively. It will be used daily.

The College invites and encourages all faculty, staff, and students to be active participants in helping to keep our spaces disinfected. We will provide sanitizing wipes and sanitizing sprays in high traffic areas such as lounges, classrooms, and meeting rooms. Please feel free to use these to wipe down the space before and after use to help reduce the spread of the virus. We also encourage you to wipe down your own workspaces and offices frequently.

The College will also be moving to MERV-13 air filters for all of our buildings with a central HVAC system. These systems will also be set to maximize fresh air intake within the design limits of the equipment. This may mean that it takes additional energy to cool and heat our buildings, and we ask for your patience with the air temperature.

Protocols for classrooms and other instructional spaces
We have established a number of protocols that will govern classrooms and other instructional spaces:

  • Facilities is adjusting each classroom to maximize social distancing between students, as well as between students and faculty. Some furniture may be removed, and the layout of a particular classroom may be sub-optimal for your preference.
  • Six feet of social distance will not be possible in all classrooms, which is why facemasks are critical.
  • Faculty will have the option of wearing a face mask or a face shield, which will be provided by the College.
  • Faculty are encouraged to consider opening classroom windows and/or doors when practical to increase air flow.
  • Cleaning protocols aimed at preventing COVID-19 will be implemented in all instructional spaces.

Physical Space Modifications
In addition to classrooms, facilities will be modifying communal spaces such as lounges and conference rooms where possible to encourage physical distancing. This may mean moving, removing, or exchanging furniture.

The College will install plastic sneeze guards in certain places such as reception desks or cash registers. In addition, the College will provide stand-alone, portable plastic sneeze guards that rest on desk for office and classroom use as an added measure of safety for any full-time faculty and staff who request them. In order to secure sufficient quantities, we ask that you submit a request for a sneeze guard to [email protected] no later than Wednesday, July 8th. We will also provide portable sneeze guards that adjuncts may “check-out” for single or semester use.

Since it is harder to contract the virus outside, the College is also securing tents for the semester to provide outdoor meeting spaces. These tents may be used in variety of ways including for meetings, student activities, and dining.

Meetings
Internal meetings
For internal meetings, the meeting chair set a meeting be in person or virtual using MS Teams. Anyone who is working off campus should not come in for the meeting, but rather attend virtually. Masks or face coverings are to be worn during in person meetings. Given different on-campus schedules for the fall, it is recommended that meetings be scheduled rather than “drop-in” whenever possible.

Meetings with off-campus guests
We strongly encourage meetings with off campus guests be held virtually using MS Teams whenever possible and practicable. If it is not possible to hold the meeting virtually, all visitors to campus should complete a daily health check and must wear a mask. When practical, meetings could be held outside

Faculty Office Hours
Faculty with offices may hold office hours and meetings with students in their offices or via MS Teams. However, faculty who do not have offices must meet with students via MS Teams or if practicable, outside or another open area.

Dining
One of the hallmarks of Holy Cross is our dining hall and communal meals together as one community. In order to try to preserve this important aspect of campus life, Campus Dining is adjusting dining hall and Ave Brew policies and offerings in accordance with best industry food service practices. In the dining hall, disposable ware will be used, self-service buffets will be replaced with individually portioned, served buffets, and other modifications to the space will be made to ensure that we can dine together safely. In addition, hours will be extended, and outdoor dining will be available near the dining hall and Grab and Go options will be available.

Travel
The College’s efforts to minimize COVID-19 infections and safeguard the health of the entire Holy Cross community depend on a package of measures and protocols. One important element of that package is to curtail travel to and from campus as much as possible, in order to lessen the introduction of new sources of infection. This is the primary reason for the significant adjustment to our academic calendar, with the fall semester now beginning with classes on August 10 and running straight through the completion of final exams by November 20. This is also the reason that College-related travel will be strictly limited throughout the fall 2020 semester. Only travel that is deemed essential will be approved. Before returning to campus after approved travel, those traveling may be required to quarantine in order to help safeguard our campus community.

Further, we are requesting and strongly urging that students, faculty and staff will avoid personal travel away from campus, their homes, or the local area during the fall 2020 semester except under exceptional circumstances (e.g., sick family member). Again, this expectation is based on our need to work together for the safety of the entire community.

Praying Together
One of the biggest adjustments for many of us this spring, and even this summer, was how we prayed and worshipped together. We are eager to be able to pray together once again as a community. However, this too will look different:

Starting at the beginning of the semester, 12:25pm daily mass and 7:30pm Sunday mass will be offered following all diocesan guidelines. However, we are limiting attendance at these masses to the College community. In order to protect their high risk population, the 5pm daily mass and Sunday morning mass is only available to residents of Holy Cross Village. Members of the College community should not attend them.

Testing and Contact Tracing
We are facilitating the testing of all students prior to their return to campus. We will also provide free on-campus testing for all students. A team of staff have agreed to be on the contact tracing and support team, which will be led by Tom DeHorn, and have already begun training. This team will work with and support students from their initial COVID-19 test through quarantine, and if needed, supported isolation. The College has a number of rooms available for isolation.

Any faculty and staff who have symptoms or have had close contact (15 minutes of contact with less than six feet of separation and no mask) with a person who has COVID-19 should contact their doctor to be tested, let Gwen DeMaegd know, and quarantine at home even if no symptoms are present. If any faculty or staff tests positive for COVID-19, report the positive test result to Gwen DeMaegd and remain isolated according to your doctor’s order and the CDC guidelines. The College will then begin contact tracing at the College as is deemed necessary and appropriate. The College will modify its sick leave policy through the end of at least 2020 so that any time taken for quarantine, isolation, or in support of a dependent family member in quarantine or isolation will be paid and time off will not count against the sick bank.

Concluding Thoughts
We know that this is a lot of information to digest. We also realize some items require significant and sometimes painful changes to ways we interacted on campus prior to the pandemic. We are hopeful that you will approach these changes the same way you approached the sudden changes of the spring, with vigor, tenacity, and grit, and all for the common good of our community. For many it is difficult, and can even be discouraging, to adjust to so many changes at once. Let us cling to Hope, knowing that these changes will not be for forever, but that they will allow us to be here on campus once again together, helping our students learn to be Scholars, Citizens, Leaders, and Disciples.

Let us end with our sincere thanks, and warm wishes for a safe and healthy long weekend.

Regards,

Justin Watson
Provost

Monica Markovich
Vice President for Finance

During the Fall 2021 semester, Holy Cross College identified 10 total positive cases. Those numbers included students, faculty, and staff.

During the spring 2021 semester, Holy Cross College identified 44 total positive cases. Those numbers included students, faculty, and staff.

During the fall 2020 semester, Holy Cross College identified 55 total positive cases. Those numbers included students, faculty, and staff.