With the emergence of the Delta variant, President H. James Williams, Ph.D. provides a mask requirement notice across campus beginning August 13, 2021 to protect the health and safety of the community.

Mount St. Joseph News


August 11, 2021

Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As I have shared with you the past two weeks, the Mount’s leadership has been vigilant in monitoring COVID-19 conditions in our region.  Unfortunately, the emergence of the Delta variant and the recent designation of Hamilton County as an area of “high community transmission” by the CDC requires us to take meaningful action to protect the health and safety of all in our Community and ensure that we deliver exemplary in-person educational, co-curricular, and athletic experiences to our students throughout the coming academic year. 


Beginning Friday, August 13, 2021, the Mount’s enhanced COVID-19 Safety Guidelines include the following requirements: 


  • All students, employees, and guests, regardless of vaccination status, must be masked at all times when indoors on campus. 
    • Exceptions to indoor masking include while a person is actively eating or drinking, is working alone in a private office, or is in a residential student’s assigned room in the Seton Residence Hall.  
    • Additional exceptions for fully vaccinated persons only include:
      • when the fully vaccinated person is actively exercising indoors on campus, or
      • when the fully vaccinated person is addressing a large group on campus, such as a fully vaccinated faculty member teaching in a classroom or a fully vaccinated staff member speaking to a group in the University Theater. 
      • These exceptions for fully vaccinated persons do not apply to participants in any meetings on campus or to participants (not presenters) in University-sponsored events or activities.
  • In addition, all unvaccinated students, employees, and guests must be masked at all times when outdoors on campus.
  • In addition, all unvaccinated students, employees, and guests must maintain a social distance from others at all times when on campus.

The complete COVID-19 Safety Guidelines, which I encourage you to read in their entirety, will be shared with the Campus Community tomorrow and will also be available at msj.edu and on myMount beginning tomorrow.  All campus signage will be updated by Friday to reflect these enhanced Guidelines. 

The Mount’s leadership is aware that there will be differing reactions to this new masking policy, ranging from dissatisfaction that the Mount is not being stricter by mandating vaccinations to dissatisfaction that the Mount is being so strict as to require vaccination status disclosure and masking indoors for everyone.  While we understand and respect this range of opposing views and reactions, we must be guided solely by the principle of doing what we feel is best for the institution, our students, and our employees.  The Mount’s leadership feels that these enhanced Guidelines reflect a balanced and responsible approach based on all of the facts available to us as well as the recommendations of the CDC and other health agencies. 

Of course, the Mount’s COVID-19 Safety Guidelines may change as we gather new information and/or are required to do so based on governmental mandates. With this in mind, if you have not already done so, please report your vaccine status by email to Wellness.Center@msj.edu for students and to Human.Resources@msj.edu for employees, by either submitting proof of full vaccination or indicating that you are not vaccinated. The data on our Community’s vaccination rate will be an important factor in making any future decisions and/or changes to the Guidelines.

There should be one obvious and simple fact that permeates all of this:  vaccinations are working to stop, or at least slow, the spread of all variants of the Covid-19 virus.  We continue to strongly recommend that all eligible members of our Community get vaccinated.  Thanks in advance for your support and cooperation.



H. James Williams, Ph.D.