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UPDATE: ND President Ends Quarantine & Isolation After Testing Positive For COVID-19

Alex Brandon/AP

UPDATE (Oct. 12):

Notre Dame has announced that the university's president is now out of isolation and quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. 

(You can read the full release below.) 

“In accord with medical advice and health protocols, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., today ended the period of quarantine and isolation that he began on Sept. 28. He is symptom-free and looks forward to resuming his normal activities.

“Father Jenkins again thanked the many people who offered prayers and well wishes for him over the last two weeks.”

– Paul J. Browne, vice president, Office of Public Affairs and Communications


Notre Dame's Office of Public Affairs and Communication has sent an email to the campus community to inform them that President John Jenkins has tested positive for COVID-19. 

This comes after Jenkins went into quarantine after attending a Rose Garden ceremony last week at the White House where Pres. Trump nominated ND alumnus Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. 

Jenkins says he was tested for COVID-19 prior to the event and then attended unmasked and without observing social distance. 

(You can read the email that was sent today below.) 

During self-quarantine this week, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC, learned that a colleague with whom he has been in regular contact tested positive for  COVID-19. Fr Jenkins was tested and found to be positive for COVID-19 too.  As a result, he is entering an extended period of isolation as indicated by University medical personnel and county health officials.  “My symptoms are mild and I will continue work from home,” Fr. Jenkins said.   “The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be.


Shortly before 5pm Monday, the President of Notre Dame sent an email to the campus community to express regret for not wearing a face mask and for shaking hands instead of social distancing during the Rose Garden ceremony to announce Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

(You can read the letter that was sent out via email below.) 

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I know many of you have read about the White House ceremony I recently attended.  I write to express my regret for certain choices I made that day and for failing to lead as I should have. 

Last Saturday morning I received, on very short notice, an invitation to attend the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court.  It was important, I believed, that I represent the University at this historic event to support a faculty colleague and alumna of Notre Dame who is greatly respected by academic and judicial peers, revered by her students and cherished by her friends. 

When I arrived at the White House, a medical professional took me to an exam room to obtain a nasal swab for a rapid COVID-19 test. 

I was then directed to a room with others, all fully masked, until we were notified that we had all tested negative and were told that it was safe to remove our masks.  We were then escorted to the Rose Garden, where I was seated with others who also had just been tested and received negative results.

I regret my error of judgment in not wearing a mask during the ceremony and by shaking hands with a number of people in the Rose Garden.  I failed to lead by example, at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so.  I especially regret my mistake in light of the sacrifices made on a daily basis by many, particularly our students, in adjusting their lives to observe our health protocols.

After returning to campus, I consulted the Notre Dame Wellness Center and was advised to monitor carefully and report any COVID-19 symptoms.  In an abundance of caution, I have decided also to quarantine in accordance with University protocols. 

Thank you for your continued efforts during this semester, and for your understanding.  

In Notre Dame, 

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.


University of Notre Dame

400 Main Building

Notre Dame, IN  46556