UNL updates face-covering policies

(Craig Chandler | Office of University Communications)
Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 2:19 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - UNL announced on Friday that they will no longer require face masks indoors beginning at midnight. Face coverings will still be required in classes where students work in close proximity with each other, or if certain class members/instructors have documented health-related issues.

UNL still encourages masks to be worn indoors, especially if it’s not possible to socially distance.

This decision comes as the Lincoln Lancaster-County Health Department and Lincoln Public Schools both decided to end their indoor mask requirements.

Below is an email sent to UNL students and staff by Chancellor Ronnie Green:

Dear students, faculty and staff:

Earlier today, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced it will no longer require face masks indoors beginning at midnight tonight.

At that time, UNL will also no longer broadly require face masks inside our campus buildings. They are still encouraged indoors, especially if it’s not possible to socially distance, but they are not required.

However, there are exceptions for specific classes where a demonstrated need has been documented.

  • Face coverings may be required in classes or academic activities where it is necessary for students to work in close proximity to each other for an extended period of time.
  • Face coverings may also be required in a class where the instructor or a student or their immediate family members have documented health-related issues related to the vaccines.

Students, if you are wondering whether these conditions apply to any of your courses – check your syllabi. They will indicate if any of your courses will continue to have a face covering requirement in the absence of a broader campus policy.

An individual instructor may also have a preference that face coverings be worn in their class. In this instance, instructors may ask, but not require, that students do so.

We will continue our random mitigation testing. If you are selected, you will receive an email on Thursday to test the following week.

It is great news to see cases of COVID-19 decline and our campus positivity rate return to a low level. Thank you for participating in the re-entry testing and for taking seriously the risk posed by the Omicron variant. This positive trend is thanks to your efforts, and I continue to be so incredibly proud of how our UNL community has pulled together during this pandemic.

I look forward to Spring arriving, and to seeing more smiles as I walk around campus.

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