Fall Outlook and Policy Updates

Author: Kate Morgan

Dear Students,

We hope this finds you enjoying the summer and preparing for the start of the next academic year. As a follow up to the email you received last week regarding policies for the fall semester, we write to share several updates of what you can expect this year, followed by more information regarding important health and safety protocols. Please share this information with your parents, guardians, and loved ones as necessary.

In light of our high rates of vaccination and low campus case rates, we are pleased to provide you with the following details. We will, of course, continue to closely monitor conditions on our campus, in our region, as well as nationally and globally, especially with regard to the emergence of variants and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. The health, safety, and well-being of every member of our campus community, as well as that of our neighbors in the local area, remain our highest priority. 

  • Classes will be taught in person.
  • Consistent with the prevailing public health protocols, most University facilities, including classrooms, teaching and research laboratories, libraries, common spaces, and administrative spaces, will operate at full capacity.
  • Residence halls will operate at normal occupancy, and Notre Dame students who do not live in the same residence hall may socialize in each other’s rooms.
  • Dining halls and campus retail dining outlets will operate at normal capacity.
  • Off-campus travel may resume without the need for special pre-approval from University Health Services (UHS).
  • University-related international travel must be approved in advance by a vice president or dean. It must also be registered with Notre Dame International. The fall travel policy can be found here.
  • The COVID-19 Addendum to du Lac concluded in May 2021 and the Notre Dame Campus Compact is no longer in effect.
  • In-person student activities will take place without the COVID restrictions that were in effect last year. Any other necessary protocols will be communicated directly by the Student Activities Office and/or Residential Life. 

COVID Vaccination Requirement

All students are asked to submit vaccination documentation or request an exemption as soon as possible. If you haven’t already done so, please plan to receive your first dose of a two-dose COVID vaccine or a one-dose COVID vaccine no later than Thursday, Aug. 19. After you arrive on campus, UHS can help you to locate your second vaccine for a two-dose series.

Please upload vaccination documentation for your first dose immediately upon completion and return later to your UHS Patient Portal to upload documentation for your second dose if applicable. This process will inform staff of those who may still be awaiting a second dose in a vaccination series.

If you wish to request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons, you must initiate this process by emailing immunizations@nd.edu

Students who do not submit vaccination documentation or receive an exemption will be unable to move into their residence halls and/or complete the ND Roll Call process to attend classes. 

Students who receive an exemption from the COVID vaccination requirement will be required to complete entry testing upon their return to campus, participate in weekly surveillance testing, and wear masks indoors. 


As previously announced, masking is optional indoors and outdoors for Notre Dame faculty, staff, and students who are fully vaccinated, although instructors may institute additional masking guidelines in individual classroom/studio/lab settings. Please be respectful of instructors’ decisions regarding masks in these settings.

Additionally, due to our inability to verify the vaccination status of visitors or easily differentiate between those who are immediate members of the Notre Dame community, masks will be required (except when eating and drinking) of both vaccinated and unvaccinated faculty, staff, and students in some campus spaces at times when those spaces are generally open to the public. As such, please remember to carry a mask with you at all times. 

We also understand there are different approaches to masking and a number of reasons why someone might continue to wear a mask. These include a need to protect an at-risk family member, personal peace of mind, working with people from outside the community, or being exempt from the vaccination requirement themselves. It is important that we continue to be respectful of each others’ decisions and personal circumstances.

COVID-19 Testing

Students who received an exemption from the vaccination requirement are required to participate in entry testing upon their arrival to campus and report for weekly surveillance testing. These students will receive additional information about the testing requirement in the coming days.

Testing for students who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been identified as exposed to someone who has tested positive is also available at the University Testing Center located inside the Edmund P. Joyce Athletic & Convocation Center (Joyce Center). Contact UHS at 574-631-7497 to schedule an appointment for a diagnostic test. 

Additional information on surveillance and diagnostic testing can be found here


Fully vaccinated students who do not have any symptoms and are identified by a member of the contact tracing team as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive case do not need to quarantine, but will be required to wear masks indoors and take a COVID test on day 4 after exposure. 

Exempt, unvaccinated individuals who are identified by a member of the contact tracing team as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive case will be required to quarantine in one of the University’s quarantine spaces or in their off-campus residences until they test negative on both day 4 and day 7 after exposure.


Vaccinated and unvaccinated students who test positive for COVID-19 will either be moved to one of the University’s isolation spaces or asked to isolate in their off-campus residences for a minimum of 10 days. 

Additional information on contact tracing and quarantine and isolation can be found here.


The COVID-related restrictions on gatherings and events, including informal gatherings, student meetings, and performances, are lifted. This means that event venues, both on and off campus, can once again be utilized, with gathering size and policies to be determined by the venue and nature of the event and subject to public health protocols in effect at the time of the event. Visitors will be expected to wear a mask when attending gatherings on campus, and organizers of events should convey this expectation to attendees.


Visitors are welcome on campus and in academic and administrative buildings subject to any public health protocols in effect at the time of their visit and restrictions specific to particular buildings. Visitors are also strongly encouraged to be vaccinated, and regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks inside campus buildings and at any other time designated by the University. 

At this time, with the exception of move-in weekend from Friday, Aug. 20 through Sunday, Aug. 22, visitors who are not Notre Dame students, faculty, or staff are not allowed inside residence halls or student rooms. 

Thank you for all you have done throughout such a challenging time. We are so proud of and grateful for your resilience and hard work. Please know of our best wishes for the coming academic year.

In Notre Dame,

Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.
Vice President for Student Affairs

Mike Seamon
Vice President for Campus Safety and University Operations