| by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

News Stories

Dear MIIS Community:

This time of year marks an important season for many members of our community. Our Muslim friends are observing the Holy Month of Ramadan, Jewish community members begin their observance of Passover this evening, and Christians will celebrate Easter this weekend. We extend warm wishes to all members of our community as they celebrate this season. Student Council is hosting an Iftar event next Wednesday to celebrate and share together.

Meanwhile, we look forward to a series of events in honor of Earth Week. Check out the Events calendar for the variety of opportunities to get involved, from a beach clean-up tomorrow morning, a bike repair event, do-it-yourself bath bombs, and a Sustainability Symposium next Friday afternoon. 

Norovirus Alert:  There has been a recent emergence of norovirus, which is of particular concern because it shares some symptoms with other illnesses, and it is highly contagious. Often referred to as the “stomach bug” or “stomach flu,” norovirus is easily spread from person to person through contaminated food and by touching contaminated surfaces. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and sometimes fever and muscle aches. Norovirus has a short incubation period of about two days, and symptoms typically last for about three days. Dehydration is a concern, especially in children and older adults. Additional information can be found on the Monterey County Department of Health website.  

Quick reminders of campus COVID policies:

  • Indoor masking in common areas is optional: This includes the Holland Center, the Samson Center, building lobbies, and the Library. The Library has also set aside one room - the DVD/Browsing Room - that requires full masking, for those who are more comfortable in a room where everyone is masked.  
  • Guests are now allowed at outdoor MIIS-sponsored events, but only if guests are included in event planning by the organizers beforehand (i.e., no walk-ins).
  • Consider in-person meetings to foster engagement among participants. There are many rooms available across campus for in-person or hybrid meetings that can be reserved by submitting a Room Reservation Request Form. Most importantly, do what is comfortable for attendees. 
  • Masks are still required in all classrooms and conference rooms and for indoor meetings.
  • Lanyards with ID cards and COVID compliance stickers continue to be required at all times while on campus.
  • If you are sick, especially with COVID symptoms, stay at home. Test regularly for COVID. As a reminder, if you test positive for COVID-19, guidelines are in place for notification and care.  

Travel Advisory Update. Beginning next week, the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory levels will no longer automatically correlate with the CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Health Notice (THN) level. Neverthelss, if the CDC raises a country’s COVID-19 THN to a Level 4, the State Department’s Travel Advisory for that country will also be raised to a Level 4: Do Not Travel due to COVID-19.

This update will leave approximately 10% of all Travel Advisories at Level 4: Do Not Travel.  This 10% includes Level 4 Travel Advisories for all risk indicators, not just COVID-19. I hope the updated framework will help U.S. citizens make better informed decisions about the safety of international travel. Full info on this change is here.  

As a reminder, free rapid tests and masks are still available in the Segal Building, Monday - Friday between 10 am and 2 pm. As always, you can view all return-to-campus policies and updates on our return to campus web page.

Hope you have a great weekend. Ramadan Mubarak, Chag Pesach Sameach, and Happy Easter to those who celebrate.

Jeff Dayton-Johnson
VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Institute