President Yager Announces Updated Masking Policy for Spring 2022

Sent to UArts students, faculty and staff Friday, Jan. 14, 2022

Good afternoon,

In follow-up to my recent message on Friday, the university mask policy has been updated.

Masking Policy Update
Due to the heightened risks we are facing relative to the omicron 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, community members and visitors to campus are strongly encouraged to wear N95, KN95, KF94 or three-ply surgical masks while on campus. Cloth masks are still permitted on campus. However, all masks should fit tight to the face and securely cover the nose and mouth. If you are looking to purchase masks or check the efficacy of your masks, check that they meet National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requirements. All community members are encouraged to follow the CDC for updates to its mask recommendations.
Community members and visitors to campus who need a mask may visit a Public Safety desk at our building front desks to request one. If you are on campus and your mask breaks or otherwise becomes unwearable, visit Public Safety for a replacement.

Masks 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. Eating and drinking is not permitted in hallways or other passageways on campus. Community members can eat or drink in the outdoor gardens at Hamilton Hall, Solmssen Court, Mangia Cafe, Terra Market, Gershman Student Lounge, Gershman Lobby and other areas designated for eating and drinking with a sign indicating such use is permitted. Commuter lounges in Juniper and Pine residence halls are also available for eating and drinking, but masks should be worn when not consuming food or beverages.
Private spaces within residence halls
Masks may be removed within private spaces (apartments and shared bedrooms) in 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 and 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 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.

A note about performances and 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 and must abide 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 omicron variant continues to heighten the risk posed to our immediate community, we must take measures now to ensure that our in-person operations can continue without interruption.

Finally, the heightened policies and measures communicated in 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,