UMass lifts facial covering and social distancing policy for fully vaccinated individuals

Starting on May 29, individuals living on campus will no longer be required to socially distance or wear facial covering

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Ana Pietrewicz / Daily Collegian

By Talia Heisey, Collegian Staff

In an email to the campus community on Wednesday, the University of Massachusetts announced that fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to wear masks or physically distance, beginning on May 29.

The email, from Co-Directors of the Public Health Promotion Center Ann Becker and Jeffrey Hescock, coincides with Massachusetts lifting its mask mandate and social distancing policies on May 29.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their “second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine,” the email read.

The email did note that anyone who wishes to be on campus in any capacity must undergo testing twice a week. This includes students living on campus, graduate students living on campus, students living off campus, faculty working on campus, graduate students working on campus, and staff working on campus.

Asymptomatic testing will be required until the university finalizes a process for UMass community members “to verify their vaccination status in order to be exempt from participating in the asymptomatic testing program.”

According to the email, face coverings will still be required in certain settings on campus including, “on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, PVTA and transportation stations); childcare facilities; healthcare facilities such as University Health Services; when getting tested at the Public Health Promotion Center at the Mullins Center; and the UMass Vaccine Clinic in the Campus Center.”

Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated will have to wear face coverings indoors, though they are no longer required to wear facial coverings outdoors and alone in private offices.

The email also urges anyone who has yet to be vaccinated “to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Talia Heisey can be reached at [email protected]