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U of M to require face coverings indoors starting August 11

A sign of the University of Michigan Central Campus
Anna Schlutt
Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan will require masks to be worn inside all university buildings starting Wednesday, August 11 – regardless of vaccination status.

The university says the policy will be adjusted as COVID case levels change – and based on compliance with U of M’s vaccination requirement.U of M says the move is based in part on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control – as well as state and county health officials.

There are exceptions, including actively eating and drinking.

Exceptions also include when an individual is:

1. alone in a single enclosed private office with the door closed;

2. in their assigned residence hall or apartment including common areas; unvaccinated individuals should continue to mask in common areas;

3. under the age of 2 years old;

4. unable to remove a face covering without assistance;

5. required to wear assigned respiratory protection for the job tasks they are performing;

6. granted a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);

7. swimming;

8. involved in an activity, including certain types of instruction, where wearing a face covering may not be feasible or present a safety hazard provided that a risk assessment is performed and reviewed by U-M EHS;

9. communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication (in such circumstances, alternatives such as clear face coverings and other accommodations must also be explored);

10. receiving a service for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service; or

11. asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes.

You can read the full mask policy from the U of M here.

"I know that we’ve already become accustomed to not wearing a mask if vaccinated, but we want everyone in our community to be as safe as possible, especially as the highly infectious delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread. 'Breakthrough infections' can occur in vaccinated persons, but while they rarely lead to serious consequences, they can spread to others. We’ll continue to assess conditions as they evolve and revisit this policy once the semester begins," university President Mark Schlissel said in an email.

Editor's note: U of M holds Michigan Radio's license.

Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Public. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.
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