8/19/21 | Message from President Brennan
Dear MMA Campus Community,
We have all worked hard together, as good and reliable shipmates do, to deal with COVID. To date, our collaborative efforts, our concern for our fellow students, employees and community members, and our appreciation for the tireless work of our health care providers, have brought us to where we can attempt to return safely to fully in-person operations. Our employee vaccination rate is above 90 % and our student rate will soon be at the same level. In this regard, our people have recognized that public health is not negotiable. All who are unvaccinated are required to wear a mask on campus and surveillance testing will be utilized again this semester.
Because MMA people did what they were asked, we as a campus community are above the identified range of herd immunity. By geography, as you all know, we are relatively isolated. There are currently no additional local, state or federal mandates. And current guidance issued to K-12 has less pertinence because our students are old enough to be vaccinated.
For all of these reasons, as we begin this semester, I am not going to require that masks be worn indoors except by those who are not or who cannot be vaccinated.
But today is but a snapshot in time. It is possible that County Commissioners, or the state or federal governments may mandate changes that will require our compliance. And as we have done since this pandemic began, we will pivot again and comply because that is the best way to protect ourselves, our shipmates and our loved ones.
Of course, any of you may choose for variety of reasons important to you personally to wear a mask. I ask that we, as a caring community, do not judge a colleague or classmate who chooses to don a mask. I ask that we be courteous, respectful and accepting. I ask that we treat each other with respect and recognize that our colleague or classmate may be concerned for their health or that of a loved one. What this means to me is that, if you are asked by a faculty member during a class or a colleague while in his/her work space to wear a mask, please respect their wishes.
We all want our lives back. We have all worked hard as a campus community to overcome the scourge of this virus. Sensitivities are raw, and morale has been challenged, and we are still not out beyond the reach of this virus. So the future is still difficult to foresee, but we have thus far managed with flexibility and adaptability and we can continue to do so as circumstances require. You deserve, and I owe you, a debt of gratitude for what you have achieved, and I ask that we continue to care for each other and ourselves.