Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,
On March 4, we shared plans for a move toward pre-COVID normalcy on our campus. This included changes in the University’s testing and masking requirements, making both optional.
Since our March 4 announcement, we have heard from a number of students, staff, and faculty that the simultaneous lifting of both the testing and masking requirements would leave them feeling particularly vulnerable when they are on campus. With the benefit of this additional input, we have decided to make the process more incremental.
Starting on Monday, March 21, mask-wearing will become optional indoors EXCEPT in classrooms, where masks will continue to be required at least through Friday, April 1. We will monitor the situation on campus over the next two weeks and announce by April 1 what our mask protocol will be starting Monday, April 4.
The focus on classrooms is based on the larger concentration of people in those spaces. In addition, and for the same reason, masks may also be required for certain events at the discretion of the organizers and in coordination with the Office of Student Leadership and Programming or Office of Events Planning. The upcoming Gala is one example of an event that will require masks.
As planned, as of Monday, March 21, testing will be optional but will remain available at our Testing Center for anyone wishing to take advantage of it. Testing is strongly encouraged for anyone who is experiencing COVID symptoms, has been in close proximity with someone who has tested positive, or has been traveling.
While we are confident that Clark is equipped to move forward, we recognize that a more measured approach will maximize everyone’s sense of comfort and safety during this period of adjustment to new ways of living, learning, and working together.
There are some basics things you need to know:
- In addition to classrooms, masking will be required in the Health Services office and on any Clark-provided transportation, including the Clark Shuttle.
- While the masking requirement does not apply to offices and other work settings, our expectation is that colleagues and students will be respectful and supportive of their co-workers and the needs of others. If someone asks you to wear a mask in a particular office or situation, please wear one. Clark employees concerned about COVID protocols in the workplace should reach out to Maggie Naughton in Human Resources.
- KN95 masks offer excellent protection for the wearer and continue to be available at various distribution points on campus.
We are proud of the extraordinary diligence, understanding, and compassion you all have demonstrated toward one another throughout the pandemic. We know that will continue. Many of our community members will assert their commitment to their personal health by wearing masks and getting tested, and we will continue to provide them the tools to assist with their self-care. Please respect and honor their choices, and please, when you are out and about on campus, always keep a mask handy.
Rest assured that we will continue monitoring the data and guidelines from appropriate authorities carefully and will adjust our decisions accordingly.
Thank you for your feedback, care, and attentiveness toward one another as we move into a new phase of campus life.