U-M Dropping Mask Mandate for Most Indoor Spaces

The University of Michigan is dropping its mask mandate for most indoor spaces on March 14, the school announced Wednesday.

Face masks will now be optional in offices, residence halls and athletic events. Masks are still required in  classrooms and other instructional spaces, patient care areas, campus COVID-19 testing sites and on campus buses at least through the end of the winter semester.

The change is policy is possible because of the high vaccination rate among students, faculty and staff as well as improving conditions in the region, the university says.

The updated policy applies to all students, faculty, staff and visitors — regardless of vaccination status — on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses.

“As the rate of COVID-19 activity decreases on campus and our state and region move from a ‘Response’ to ‘Recovery’ phase of the pandemic, the Campus Health Response Committee is issuing new guidance regarding COVID response on campus,” said Robert Ernst, associate vice president for student life for health and wellness and CHRC director.

“Mask use is still an effective strategy for enhanced personal protection, especially for those with compromised immune status, those who are not vaccinated or up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, and anyone with a perceived increased situational risk.”

Masks remain required for all indoor spaces if an individual is completing the full 10 days of an isolation and quarantine period as outlined in the guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Other COVID-19 mitigation measures that remain in place include:

  • The U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy that requires students, faculty and staff to remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Maintaining the availability of free, COVID-19 testing on campus through the Community Sampling and Tracking Program.
  • Weekly testing remains required of U-M community members who have an exemption from the vaccine policy.
  • Meeting or exceeding standards set by the CDC for classroom ventilation, as well as Michigan Building Code heating and cooling system requirements for airflow at maximum occupancy.
  • Quarantine and isolation housing space remains available for students who need space to quarantine or isolate.
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