IU President Whitten assures semester will be safe during Omicron surge

In an email message to the Indiana University community sent Monday, President Pamela Whitten made assurances the semester would be safe as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 rages:

“I am committed to doing everything possible to make this semester safe, gratifying, and enjoyable. Best wishes for a wonderful spring 2022 semester!”

The university is currently offering Covid testing, vaccines, and booster doses of the vaccine on campus. There was no specific mention of mitigation testing, the distribution of N-95 masks (now recommended), or online teaching.

It’s unclear if the “mitigation efforts” mentioned in Whitten’s message involve mitigation testing, which took place in previous semesters at Indiana University during the pandemic.

Whitten is however encouraging loud cheering at athletic events. Over the holiday break, some basketball games were canceled due to the pandemic.

Classes started today, but at least one reader reached out to the Bloomingtonian, to say their professor scheduled a class online having not received the results of a PCR Covid test yet.

Indiana posted 14,735 new cases of Covid on January 7, 2022.

Here is the text of the message:

Welcome to spring semester at Indiana University
Welcome to the spring 2022 semester. I hope you’re feeling recharged after the winter break, ready to take on new challenges and get involved in the exciting activities and events on Indiana University campuses.

Today, as we resume in-person learning, let’s recommit to keeping everyone healthy at IU. Find out how to schedule a COVID-19 test on campus, or a vaccine or booster dose at numerous sites across the state. Also, stay up to date on IU’s guidance at iu.edu/covid.  
Even though we must continue to remain diligent with COVID-19 mitigation efforts during this omicron surge, let’s remember to take advantage of the many wonderful opportunities to engage with each other and IU traditions this spring. In the coming weeks and months, cheer loudly at athletic events, be inspired by various musical and theater performances, and attend thought-provoking public lectures.
As we prepare to honor Martin Luther King Jr. next week, please consider joining me in celebrating his life and legacy. You can get involved with IU’s celebration in a variety of ways:
  IU’s second annual Social Justice Conference is a statewide celebration hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs. The conference, “A Journey Toward True Education,” offers numerous educational workshops and presentations. IUPUI’s week of action includes a series of projects to encourage students, faculty, and staff to engage with community sites across Indianapolis to honor Dr. King’s commitment to service and social justice.IU East, along with Earlham College and the Richmond chapter of the NAACP, is hosting a conversation with renowned civil rights and personal injury lawyer Benjamin Crump.IU Northwest is hosting “Standing Up for One’s Civil Rights.” Author Brian Vukadinovich will share his personal experiences with justice and discuss the themes of due process, civil rights, and civic responsibility.  
I am committed to doing everything possible to make this semester safe, gratifying, and enjoyable. Best wishes for a wonderful spring 2022 semester!”

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