Starting May 16, the procedures section of the University’s policy on face coverings will be updated to make masks optional in all indoor and outdoor spaces except for clinical care settings, including the University Health Center, the Center for Clinical Services and the Center for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.
The update is being made because a growing body of evidence indicates that being fully vaccinated – including having your booster shots – is the best defense against the spread of COVID-19. Vaccination is required for students and employees.
In addition, the number of cases on campus remains low, and according to the CDC’s county-level data, both Essex and Passaic counties continue to have low rates of transmission. Many employers and state and local governments have dropped mask requirements since the CDC issued new guidance in February recommending that mask-wearing become a personal choice under these conditions.
And although wearing masks will soon be optional, everyone is always free to wear one whenever and wherever they want.
The University asks that all members of the campus community carry a mask and when in close contact with another person, ask them if they’d like you to wear it. This is a courtesy to those who may be at higher risk, or who may live with people at higher risk, or who may simply feel more comfortable wearing a mask. Red Hawks take care of each other, so please respect their choices, and put on your mask if they would like you to.
Remember, the current face mask policy remains in effect until May 16.