University of Alabama reinstates mask mandate for spring semester

·2 min read
University of Alabama students are required to wear face masks or other face coverings while on campus and attending classes. [Photo/Hannah Saad]
University of Alabama students are required to wear face masks or other face coverings while on campus and attending classes. [Photo/Hannah Saad]

When the University of Alabama resumed operations Tuesday after the winter break, faculty and staff were required to wear masks in most campus settings regardless of their coronavirus vaccination status.

UA had lifted its mask mandate in November 2021, but since then a surge in coronavirus cases linked to the fast-spreading omicron variant has been reported.

"As national and local coronavirus transmission rates have increased, some updates to existing protocols are necessary and now in effect," states an update posted Monday afternoon on UA's health information website.

This means that when the nearly 38,320 UA students return to Tuscaloosa on Jan. 12 for the start of the spring semester, masks will be required in classrooms, on buses and inside most campus buildings.

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UA said the mask rule includes:

• Academic buildings, such as library and classroom buildings.

• Administrative and office buildings, except where people can be socially distanced

• Health care facilities, such as the University Medical Center and Student Health Center

• Campus transportation, such as buses

• Other areas as officially designated by UA.

People who are unvaccinated will be required to wear a mask indoors and while outdoors in crowds, according to UA.

Also, UA said that faculty, staff and students who feel sick or symptomatic are urged to call the University COVID Support Program at 205-348-2819. Those who test positive are required to call the number and follow instructions for testing, quarantine and isolation.

UA said that Dr. Ricky Friend, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences, emphasizes the effectiveness of vaccinations, boosters and wearing well-fitting masks in all public locations.

Vaccinations and boosters are available at the University Medical Center and Student Health Center at no cost to UA faculty, staff and students.

For more information, go to hthealthinfo.ua.edu.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: University of Alabama requires mask mandate for spring semester

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