University alters on-campus masking policies
Observer Staff Report | Friday, May 14, 2021
This report was updated June 3 at 6:35 p.m.
Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s announcement May 20 that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks either outdoors or indoors, University President Fr. John Jenkins stated in a May 14 email that vaccinated students will no longer be required to wear masks at outdoor gatherings of any size starting May 22.
Beginning May 20 — two weeks after the final day of the University’s vaccination site — fully vaccinated students will no longer be required to wear masks inside residential buildings. Masking inside buildings on campus with heavy traffic will still be required after May 20. Faculty and staff are still required to follow current masking policies indoors. 71% of faculty and 56% of staff are confirmed to be fully vaccinated, according to the email.
Fully vaccinated graduates will not be required to wear masks during the University Commencement Mass and Ceremony on May 23. Seating will still be distanced between graduates, and faculty, staff and guests of the graduates will be required to wear a mask at the ceremony.
According to a report from Provost Marie Lynn Miranda and executive vice president Shannon Cullinan, effective June 3, faculty, staff and students will not be required to wear a mask anywhere indoors or outdoors on campus if they have received the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The announcement said the University will still ask those who are not fully vaccinated to continue to wear a mask.
“For those who are not vaccinated, to support the health of our community, we ask you to continue wearing masks indoors and encourage you to sign up for surveillance testing if you are regularly coming to campus,” the announcement said.
Faculty who wish to request an exemption from the required vaccination must apply by June 18.
The University is planning to invite colleagues back to campus over the summer with a full return for faculty and staff to occur by August 2.