March 2, 2022
Dear Colleagues and Students:
I send this message to advise you of an important adjustment in the protocols we have implemented in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus among the members of our campus community and our campus visitors.
Specifically, effective Friday, March 4, 2022, at 5:00 p.m., we will no longer require students, faculty, staff, or visitors to wear face masks inside campus buildings and vehicles.
Our updated protocols are reflected in both the student and employee COVID-19 Response Plans. Please review these plans, because there are some very limited exceptions to this new mask protocol.
Throughout the pandemic, our University’s protocols have been informed by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a team of local public health experts. Our protocols have also been informed by the specific data on our campus, including the incidence of new infections among the members of our campus community.
This adjustment is justified by the sustained and substantial decline in the number of new infections among the members of our campus community. For example, last week, there were 17 new positive cases. That is the lowest number of new cases in a week since classes resumed in August 2021.
This adjustment is also justified by the relatively high vaccination rates among our full-time employees and our on-campus students. The level of vaccinations is another factor that the CDC and our local public health experts advise is important to mitigate the spread of the virus within a community.
Notwithstanding this modification to our protocols, all of us should continue to act responsibly.
If you have not yet been vaccinated, please consult with your personal physician to discuss whether it would be prudent for you to be vaccinated.
If you are at high risk of becoming seriously ill if you were to become infected, because you are not vaccinated or have another risk factor, I encourage you to wear a mask inside our buildings and whenever you are in close proximity to other people.
And, of course, in keeping with our enduring values, I ask that you respect anyone who chooses to wear a mask, irrespective of that person’s reason for doing so.
Finally, after Spring Break, we will continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots, as well as testing. Both free services will resume on Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 16.
Thank you for your sustained commitment to our health and safety protocols.