City Health Department approves reopening plan, university to announce final decision next week

Milwaukee+Health+Department+approved+Marquette+University%27s+safety+plan%2C+allowing+the+university+to+open+in+the+fall.+Photo+via+Flickr.+

Milwaukee Health Department approved Marquette University's safety plan, allowing the university to open in the fall. Photo via Flickr.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department has approved Marquette’s plans for reopening in a hybrid format. The university will announce its final fall semester plans next week, according to a July 31 university news release.

An earlier July 20 news release  said that Marquette would reassess plans for the fall semester because of Milwaukee’s health order, which wouldn’t have allow schools to reopen in person.

Milwaukee’s updated health order will allow schools to reopen at 50% capacity if their safety plans are approved by the city. 

“Members of the university’s COVID-19 Response Team met and engaged in productive conversations with Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik and her team to ensure that Marquette’s Recovery Plan meets the city’s stringent guidelines for reopening campus,” the recent news release said. “The city and the university are united in our commitment to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of the Marquette and Milwaukee communities, while still delivering on our Catholic, Jesuit educational mission.”

Milwaukee issued a mandatory mask ordinance earlier this month and Governor Tony Evers followed suit, passing a state-wide mandate July 30.

The latest university news release said that since Marquette’s return plan is phased, the university will be able to move between phases as necessary, even if that means stepping back.

According to Marquette’s recovery plan website, the university is currently on step three of five. The third step includes limited return to campus and preparation of buildings, while the fourth and fifth steps involve successful implementation of safety practices to allow students and faculty to return to a “new normal” for the fall semester.

This story was written by Shir Bloch. She can be reached at shir.bloch@marquette.edu.