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UM Modifies Mask Mandate: Now Required Only in Instructional, Healthcare Settings

Effective on Monday, the University of Mississippi will require face coverings only in instructional areas and healthcare settings, regardless of vaccination status.

“We are certainly in a different place this spring than we were spring 2020 or even spring 2021. We have robust testing, and we have safe, effective, and widely available vaccines that reduce the severity of illness and the risk of hospitalization for those infected with the coronavirus,” said Chancellor Glenn Boyce in a written statement this afternoon. “We have developed protocols that are proven to be effective when we experience a surge in cases. We have also seen our case counts reduce significantly from the beginning of the semester to today.”

The university has had a mask mandate in place requiring masks in all public places since the school year started in the fall.

Face masks will be required in classrooms and other academic spaces like laboratories as well as healthcare settings such as University Health Services.

Face coverings will not be required in other public spaces such as residence halls, libraries, dining facilities, the Student Union, Campus Recreation facilities, retail spaces, offices, conference rooms or extracurricular activities held in indoor on-campus spaces.

“We recognize that some individuals may be at higher risk, have a family member they are trying to protect, may not be up-to-date on their vaccines or not eligible, or feel more comfortable wearing a mask in indoor public spaces,” Boyce said. “We ask everyone to support and respect those in our community who need to, or choose to, wear a face covering in non-required spaces.”

The university continues to support faculty and staff who wish to keep additional safeguards in workspaces, including plexiglass at desks/workstations. Faculty and staff may require face coverings for visits to their private offices, as well. Additionally, UM will continue to provide face coverings to requesting departments.

“As we have done since the onset of the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the presence of the virus on our campus and adapt, if necessary, to uphold the health and safety of our community,” Boyce said.


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