Salisbury University’s face mask mandate has been reinstated for vaccinated students, faculty and staff less than a week before fall semester courses commence, effective Aug. 25, per a recent Stay Informed email.
While unvaccinated students and employees will still be subject to increased coronavirus testing and other tightened restrictions, all campus community members will now be required to wear face masks inside every SU building and on university transportation vehicles despite the University System of Maryland’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
The campus was nearly mask-free for just over a month before the mask mandate reemerged, with fully vaccinated individuals only instructed to wear face coverings inside classrooms and “high risk” areas of campus under the university’s previous policies.
With the university’s incoming class scheduled to begin moving into campus dorms Aug. 26, the reinstated mask rules will take effect just before around 1,800 students and their families arrive on SU’s campus.
SU President Charles Wight expressed cautious optimism regarding the campus’ newest arrivals and the rapidly approaching fall semester in a recent statement to the campus community.
“[Aug. 30] will mark the first day of classes and, we believe, a return to a sense of normalcy at SU, with appropriate guidelines in place,” Wight said.
The universal mask requirement follows a reversal in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing the potential for increased transmission of COVID-19 by vaccinated individuals from the highly contagious delta variant of the virus.
The University of Maryland has already been under the mask since Aug. 8 following Prince George’s County’s reissued universal mask mandate as COVID-19 cases rise in the area.
Gov. Larry Hogan recently pushed back against potentially reinstated a statewide mask mandate, with more than 7 million Marylanders – 79% of the state’s total adult population – having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, per the Maryland Department of Health.
For more information on SU’s coronavirus prevention protocols or to view the latest university COVID-19 test results, visit https://www.salisbury.edu/coronavirus/testing-info.aspx.
By JAKOB TODD
Featured image courtesy of Salisbury University Public Relations Office.