Dear Patriot Friends:
It’s an important day. We have achieved our goal of keeping our COVID-19 test positivity rates consistently below 4% for the past few weeks, and the latest CDC guidance indicates that all of our national campuses are at the “low” level of transmission, which now means the CDC no longer recommends that masks be required indoors.
Last week, our positivity rate fell to 0.29% from over 4,700 tests performed. Last Friday alone, none of the 1,000 tests processed in our Mason lab returned a positive result.
Based on this achievement, I am pleased to report that Mason is now at the yellow mask level, which means that effective immediately, masks are optional at Mason except in classrooms and classroom labs during scheduled lessons and/or lab activities. There are several other minor and targeted exceptions which you can read about by following the link on the Safe return to campus website.
While we anticipated that mask requirements would remain in place for events with more than 50 attendees, new CDC guidelines mean that we will no longer have a mask requirement for events UNLESS event organizers specifically require it.
- Faculty and staff who wish to request a medical waiver from wearing a mask if necessary should contact Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for more information
- Students who wish to request a medical exemption from wearing a mask must go to University Life Disability Services Office for more information.
- Through the existing event planning process, event planners can request that their event be hidden by contacting their event coordinator. please contact University events for more information.
We will also be relaxing our testing protocols for students in high contact positions as well as unvaccinated students. Mason’s Monitoring and Diagnostic Tests The sites will remain open and available to any member of the Mason community who wishes to be tested, and we encourage you to get tested if necessary or when you believe you have been exposed. And as always, we strongly encourage everyone to get up to date with their COVID vaccine and booster and to stay home if you feel sick.
I recognize that these changes may relieve some and worry others. If you feel more comfortable with your mask, feel free to continue. We always encourage you to wear a mask inside and we will support you in this process. We will also support those who choose to remove their mask. There’s room for all of us at Mason’s. Let’s respect each other as we take this next step as a thriving society and healthy community.