President Yager Unveils COVID Dashboard, Updated Masking Requirements

Sent to staff Sept. 13, 2021

Good afternoon,

In follow-up to my recent message on Friday, I have several important updates to relay:

UArts COVID-19 Dashboard is Now Live

Please bookmark and save this link: 

Updates relative to our vaccination rate, active cases and testing will be made every Monday.

Masking Policy Update
Due to the heightened risks we are facing relative to the delta variant and in an effort to ensure our in-person instruction, performances and activities can continue, we are strengthening our masking policy and suspending most academic exemptions.

Effective today and moving forward until further notice, masks that securely cover the nose and mouth are mandatory in all indoor settings, including at all special events and performances (for both performers and audience members), with only the following exceptions:

Designated spaces for eating and drinking
Masks may only be removed temporarily when actively eating and drinking, and should be replaced as soon as possible. We encourage all students, faculty and staff to practice social distancing when eating and drinking in communal settings

Private spaces within residence halls
Masks may be removed within private spaces (apartments and shared bedrooms) within residence halls but must be worn in all shared and communal facilities within the hall, including lounges, laundry rooms, hallways, elevators and lobbies.

Temporary removal for playing certain instruments
Masks may temporarily be removed to play wind instruments but must be worn at all other times. Bell covers and/or other alternate safety measures must be followed as communicated by the School of Music.

Special & public events with food / beverage
Masks must be worn at all special and public events and may only be removed temporarily if food and/or beverages are being consumed. Staff and faculty are encouraged to limit or eliminate food and beverage service at special events and continue to operate at reduced capacity, not to exceed 50% of the maximum stated capacity of any indoor location. When feasible, outdoor environments for the service of food and/or beverages are preferable.

Proof of vaccination required for all guests
Moving forward, all visitors to the university and attendees at all special and public events must show proof of vaccination for admittance. It is the responsibility of the department hosting the visitor(s) or organizing the event to verify guest vaccine cards and/or images of vaccine cards.

A note about performances & performers
This policy means that from here forward, masks are mandatory for performers across all disciplines - music, dance, theater and interdisciplinary collaborations of all descriptions - as well as all attendees and staff. As stated above, wind instrumentalists may only temporarily lift their mask when playing, abiding by all other alternative safety precautions as communicated by the School of Music.

We recognize that wearing masks at performances and special events is not what any of us would choose, but we must place the health and safety of our entire community first. As the delta variant continues to heighten the risk posed to our immediate community, we must take measures now to ensure our in-person operations can continue without interruption.

Finally, the heightened policies and measures communicated within this email and my email of this past Friday supersede any other previously issued policies. We are working to update all webpages accordingly.

Thank you,