UA to require masks indoors beginning Aug. 6

The University of Alabama will mandate face coverings indoors on campus where social distancing is not possible beginning Aug. 6. This requirement applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. 

This requirement will be reviewed after the first two weeks of classes, which begin on Aug. 18. 

The policy was changed in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines that recommend face coverings indoors regardless of vaccination status.

The University will require face masks to be worn in classrooms, meeting spaces, common gathering spaces and on-campus transportation. 

Masks will not be required in non-classroom indoor areas where social distancing can be maintained, when alone in offices and private workspaces, in residence hall rooms, while eating or drinking and while exercising. 

Faculty are not required to wear a mask if they are distanced from students and behind plexiglass.

Dr. Richard Friend, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences, encouraged vaccinations in a statement announcing the mask policy.

“Vaccinations are the key to a successful fall semester and the key to moving beyond these types of requirements,” the statement said. “Everyone is strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. Data continue to show the vaccines provide very strong protection against serious illness and hospitalization.”

Students can schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and those who self-report vaccinations will receive $20 in Bama Cash.

“Our vaccine numbers among faculty and staff are strong – the percentage vaccinated more than doubles the statewide number. We are still learning about students who were vaccinated over the summer, and will be offering expanded opportunities for vaccination as classes approach. Again, vaccination is key,” Friend said.