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Campus Indoor Mask Requirement Lifting as COVID-19 Metrics Drop

Masks Still Must be Worn in Classrooms, Public Transit, Patient Care Areas

By Maryland Today Staff

Students walk outside on McKeldin Mall near the sundial

The university’s indoor mask mandate is lifting, effective Monday, with a few notable exceptions: in classrooms, on public transportation and in patient care areas.

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines and University Health Center Director Dr. Spyridon Marinopoulos sent the following message today to the campus community:

Earlier today, Prince George’s County announced the lifting of the indoor mask mandate, effective Monday, Feb. 28. This follows a previous announcement by Gov. Larry Hogan lifting indoor mask requirements in all state buildings, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control also just released updated guidance.

The lifting of indoor mask mandates at the county, state and national levels follows significant declines in COVID-19 health metrics. The current positivity rate in the state and in Prince George’s County is now below 3% and hospitalizations statewide have dropped to fewer than 500.

Lifting the Indoor Mask Requirement on Campus
Our practice since the beginning of this pandemic has been to closely follow national, state and county health guidance. With this in mind, we are adjusting our COVID-19 health measures as follows:

Effective Monday, Feb. 28, we will lift the indoor mask mandate on campus for all faculty, staff, students and visitors, with a few notable exceptions:

  • KN95 masks will continue to be required in all classroom settings, including shared laboratories and other instructional spaces. This measure remains in place out of an abundance of caution, given the increased density over a prolonged period of time in many instructional settings. Instructors may continue to remove their masks while teaching, provided they maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Masks should be worn by anyone who is positive or has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with the virus.
  • Masks will continue to be required on all public transportation, including Shuttle-UM buses.
  • Masks will continue to be required in all patient care areas, including, but not limited to, the University Health Center and all COVID-19 testing locations.

Masks will no longer be required in offices, dining halls, residence halls or at athletic events. These updated protocols are subject to change as conditions warrant.

The lifting of the indoor mask mandate is thanks in large part to our university’s high vaccination and booster rates and diligent compliance with other health guidelines. While we are pleased that the positivity rate, hospitalizations and other health metrics continue to improve, we strongly encourage everyone to remain vigilant. Wearing a KN95 mask provides effective protection against the spread of the virus, and some of us may be more comfortable with continuing to wear a mask in a variety of settings. Individuals who are unvaccinated, are immunocompromised and have chronic health conditions placing them at higher risk of severe illness and complications from COVID-19 are advised to continue to wear a mask in all settings.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we have navigated this pandemic together. Today represents an important moment, but let us remain vigilant. Please continue to take care of yourself and each other.

Sincerely,

President Darryll Pines Signature

Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
He/Him/His

Spyridon S. Marinopoulos Signature

Spyridon S. Marinopoulos, MD, MBA, FACP
Director, University Health Center
Chief Medical Officer, University of Maryland
He/Him/His

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.