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UM Shifts to Optional Face Masks

As of Wednesday, the University of Mississippi is shifting to a “face mask optional” status on its Oxford campus.

Chancellor Glenn Boyce announced the change this morning in an email to faculty, staff and students.

“As we continue to monitor COVID-19 data, metrics and trends on our campus and adjust our protocols, we’re pleased to see the continued reduction in case counts and low levels of community transmission. We have been committed to utilizing layered prevention strategies and to adjusting our protocols as needed,” Boyce said in the email.

Face coverings are required only on transportation networks (mandated by the Transportation Security Administration) and in healthcare settings such as University Health Services and University Counseling Center, regardless of vaccination status.

Face coverings are optional in all other indoor spaces, including classrooms, laboratories, studios, 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’re grateful that we have access to widely-available tools to manage the impact of the pandemic including vaccines, testing and medications to treat COVID-19,” Boyce said. “And, we remain committed to monitoring campus and community metrics and trends, and we will not hesitate to reimplement effective mitigation measures such as mask requirements if warranted.”

Faculty and staff may continue to require face coverings for visits to their private offices.

“I’m very appreciative how our campus community continues to respond and adapt in order to meet our top priorities of keeping our campus healthy while meeting our mission and serving our students,” Boyce said.

Staff report

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