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New Campus Masking and Visitor Policies

Message Highlights

  • In light of new guidance from the CDC, the College is easing restrictions on certain outdoor masking requirements.
  • Indoor masking requirements remain the same.
  • For the sake of the health and safety of our campus community, we are moving cautiously, and our masking policies remain stricter than CDC guidance.
  • We intend to reopen the campus to visitors on June 7. 

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff Members, 

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates its guidance on how best to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we regularly evaluate all of our COVID-related policies and practices. As you may know, the CDC recently updated its recommendations for wearing masks. Based on that guidance, and in consultation with our own medical and public health experts, we are making adjustments to the College’s masking requirements. We do so while continuing to prioritize the health and well-being of our campus community members, which is the primary goal guiding all of our decisions around COVID-19. | CDC Guidance for Wearing Masks

The following policies are in effect until further notice:  

Wearing Masks Indoors

Our masking policies for indoor use have not changed.

  • All faculty and staff members must continue to wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth when inside campus facilities. Individuals working alone in a single office may remove their mask if their office door is closed.
  • All students are required to wear a face mask/covering inside all buildings, except when alone inside their own residence hall room. This expectation includes while accessing common spaces within one’s residence hall or residential suite, such as lounges, common bathrooms, kitchens (except when actively eating), PPR Apartment living rooms, and laundry rooms.

Wearing Masks Outdoors

Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks outdoors on campus grounds unless they are in gatherings of five or more people. All individuals should continue to practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet whenever possible.

As a reminder, an individual is fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

It’s important to remember that individuals may choose to continue wearing masks whether they are fully vaccinated or not; we shouldn’t assume that someone wearing a mask isn’t fully vaccinated. 

Commencement Celebrations

All individuals participating in end-of-the-year celebrations, including the in-person May 30 Commencement celebration, are required to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status. 

Campus Visitor Policy

As you know, last August, due to concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the difficult decision to close the College grounds and facilities to the public, restricting access to authorized students, faculty, and staff members. Even our students who were studying remotely and living close to campus were prohibited from coming to campus.

Fortunately, there are signs that we may soon slowly return to something that more closely resembles life before the pandemic. While cases are still higher than we’d like to see, they have dropped significantly since their peak earlier this year. Vaccines are also now widely available in the area. Given these factors, combined with the fact that the vast majority of our residential students will leave campus for the summer by the end of May, we intend to reopen the campus grounds, including the Crum Woods, playing fields, and tennis courts, on June 7.

Please note that, though the grounds will be open, access to indoor facilities will remain restricted to authorized students, faculty, and staff members only. As with all of our decisions related to COVID-19, we will need to be flexible and responsive to changing circumstances; if the virus surges once again, or if new variants emerge that prove to be resistant to available vaccines, we may have to reconsider this decision.


The COVID-19 Planning Group