BREAKING: University to remove mask requirement in classrooms starting next week
Mask usage will be optional and encouraged, officials said
American University will no longer require masks in classrooms beginning Monday, Sept. 26, Provost Peter Starr announced in an email to the AU community on Wednesday evening.
“The wearing of masks in AU classrooms will no longer be required but rather optional and encouraged,” Provost Peter Starr said in the email.
During the beginning of the fall semester, the University required students to wear masks in classrooms but made them optional in most other campus spaces such as the library and fitness centers.
Masks will continue to be required in the Student Health Center, the Center for Well-being Programs and Psychological Services and the Academic Support and Access Center.
According to Starr, the decision to end the classroom mask mandate was “based on feedback from our community and our safety efforts.”
As part of these efforts, the University will continue to provide on-campus PCR testing and require full COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, faculty, staff, contractors and visitors. Previously, the University monitored community case levels through a surveillance testing program and published weekly numbers on a dashboard. The dashboard was discontinued after the spring 2022 semester, as previously reported by The Eagle.
Starr also said the University is recommending community members get the recently released bivalent COVID-19 booster. Community members can find available appointments to receive the booster free of charge using the national VaccineFinder website.
“We will continue to monitor conditions and update the community as needed. While individual case count numbers are a less effective measure of COVID-19’s impact than previously, we continue to track CDC and DC Health guidance, the overall severity of disease [...], and the university’s ability to safely provide academic and support services to our community.”