The University of Mississippi joined other state universities Wednesday night by requiring face masks while indoor public spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status.
The mandate, released by Chancellor Glenn Boyce in an email to faculty, students and staff, goes into effect immediately and includes all public office spaces, classrooms, conference rooms and other academic spaces like laboratories and libraries.
Additionally, masks will be required while traversing public spaces in residence halls, dining facilities, the Student Union, Campus Rec, and retail spaces. Masks will be required for extracurricular activities held in indoor on-campus spaces. Face coverings are not required when outdoors.
“This new, temporary protocol is an evidence-based mitigation strategy which will assist us in delivering in-person learning and maintaining a full on-campus experience with the least amount of disruption,” Boyce said in the email “We’re optimistic that this temporary mask utilization indoors will help ensure a successful start to the school year … We will evaluate this protocol daily based on how the spread of the virus evolves on campus and in our community.”
Boyce said the decision was based on updated guidance and recommendations from the CDC and the Mississippi State Department of Health, along with regular communication with the IHL, other universities in Mississippi, local school districts, the city of Oxford and Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi.
“These discussions further inform our decision-making for expanding or reducing community intervention and mitigation strategies,” he said in the email.
He encouraged the university community members to get their vaccinations to help keep themselves and the community safe.
“Our teams continue to monitor this fluid situation daily and we will keep you apprised of any changes to the campus protocols,” he said.