Dear Patriot Friends:
Three weeks ago, I announced that we are considering changing George Mason University’s COVID-19 mask-wearing requirements. Today I am writing to offer an encouraging update.
As you may recall, I shared that the rapidly changing COVID-19 conditions on our campuses have led us to set March 4 as the date we will consider moving to the optional use of masks on campus. campus, if Mason’s positivity rate for COVID-19 remains below 4 percent until then.
More than halfway through the assessment period, Mason’s positivity rate — the percentage of people who test positive for COVID-19 — remains consistently well below the 4% threshold, at 0.38%. This success, combined with Mason’s 95% overall vaccination rate, as well as the continued overall decline in the spread of COVID-19 in the region and country, now makes the pivot to optional mask-wearing more viable.
What this means for Mason
It is increasingly likely that on March 4 we will announce a shift from our current mask requirement to a mask-optional university environment – with two key exceptions: it is likely that masks will still be required for all classroom environments in person and the like. closed places with close contact with more than 50 people. In all other contexts, we will support and encourage the wearing of masks as individuals deem appropriate for their situation. Finally, we will of course continue to monitor our progress, and revert to masking if necessary.
What to expect on March 4
We will communicate our final decisions on March 4 on whether we will switch to a mask-optional university, and what exceptions we will continue to observe. In the meantime, given the trends that continue to point to a pivot, I encourage you to continue to observe our current precautions and expect some adjustments to arrive on March 4th.
Stay tuned, Patriots. We will have more tips very soon.