Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:
With the widespread administration and availability of vaccines in Ohio, we are excited to see people and communities becoming safer, and to observe places to learn, work and play opening up to those who adhere to safety measures.
Gov. DeWine said in his address Wednesday, May 12, that he has asked the Ohio Department of Health to remove most pandemic health orders on June 2. Measures being removed will include facial covering protocols, social distancing guidelines, and capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor events.
What does the Governor’s statement mean for NEOMED?
As summer approaches, we look forward to seeing a full and vibrant campus. We are happy to inform you that we plan to have a full return to campus with in-person instruction beginning with Academic Year 2021-2022. Some programs begin as early as June, so students should refer to the academic calendar for program start dates. Online degree programs (e.g., M.P.H.) or courses that were originally designed for virtual delivery will remain as they are.
The ability for students to gain access to our partner clinical sites or participate in live clinical patient simulations may depend on their having fully completed a vaccine series. To reduce any barriers to participation in clinical experiences, students are strongly encouraged to make any and all arrangements to be completely vaccinated by the first day of classes.
What is meant by full return?
As a medical university, our safety measures have set a standard of excellence. It is expected that all faculty, staff and students will be on campus for a full experience ― working, teaching and learning in person. People who feel they are not able to return to campus should contact either the Office of Student Services (for students) or Human Resources (for faculty and staff) to discuss the reasons and possible alternatives. We will continue to promote the health and safety of our campus with the expectation that all members of the NEOMED community who do not have a religious or medical reason for not vaccinating will take advantage of the widespread availability of vaccines.
Why is it important that I get vaccinated now?
Our desire is to have a vaccinated campus. While the implementation and timing of any possible future mandates will be subject to the authorizations by the FDA and the state of Ohio, NEOMED cannot control possible guidelines for participation in clinical activities that may be issued by health systems and pharmacies. Since student access to these clinical experiences is subject to the requirements of the partner institutions, it is prudent for students to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
The Colleges will provide specific details directly to their students as those details become available. The University will also provide further details regarding vaccinations, testing and other safety requirements on our campus as they become available.
We urge all unvaccinated members of the NEOMED community to pursue vaccination at this time. It is through the commitment of our students, faculty and staff that our campus has remained safe throughout the pandemic. This puts us in a great position to enjoy more campus experiences together. Your safety and wellness remain our first priority. And as we create transformational leaders, we will never lose sight that it is you who make it all possible.
Thank you for your resilience. I look forward to seeing you all in Academic Year 2021-2022.
John T. Langell