BYU announces it will require masks indoors for fall semester

PROVO, Utah, Aug. 20, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Brigham Young University will require masks in classrooms, in any indoor space when physical distancing isn’t maintained and in other areas when directed this fall semester, it was announced Friday.

Back in May, the university said masks and social distancing would not be required this fall, though officials did add at the time: “this decision is subject to change depending on trends in disease prevalence and guidance from state and local governments.”

An announcement Friday on the university’s website said: “Because classrooms will be operating at full capacity during fall semester, all students must wear masks when attending in-person classes regardless of vaccination status. Fully vaccinated faculty who maintain physical distance from their students may remove their masks to teach.”

These requirements will begin Monday, Aug. 23. The university will continue to monitor the situation and will re-evaluate mask requirements at the end of September based on several factors including the immunization rate of the campus community, COVID-19 transmission and hospitalization rates, and guidance from health and government officials.

“BYU strongly urges students, employees and campus guests to follow recent counsel from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to get vaccinated and wear masks in public meetings with limited distancing,” the announcement said.

Based on reports received as of Aug. 20, 70% of students and 76% faculty and staff have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination.

“While BYU is encouraged by the number of immunizations reported among the campus community, there is still a need for more of the community to be immunized,” the announcement said.

Click here for more information on campus vaccination rates.

Students, faculty and staff can still report and update their vaccination status here.

Per the Utah Department of Health, fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff who come into direct, close contact with a positive case of COVID-19 are currently not required to quarantine unless symptoms develop, the statement said.

The university is also providing a small appreciation voucher to students who have been fully vaccinated and those who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical exemption. Details on redeeming the voucher can be found here.


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