Effective Saturday, March 19, 2022, masks are optional in all* locations at UVM, indoor and outdoor!

*Please note a few exceptions below

Rally Together

This guidance was developed in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Vermont Department of Health (VDH), and the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA). We will continue to update this guidance as necessary to reflect the latest health and safety state and federal recommendations.

 

Applicability

This guidance applies to anyone using UVM facilities and event spaces. This includes UVM employees, students, vendors, contractors, volunteers, clients, customers, and anyone visiting UVM buildings for conferences, meetings, and events. This guidance also applies to UVM owned or leased buildings and spaces, including off-campus sites and retail locations. This guidance also applies to University activities in non-UVM spaces, although consideration must be given to the requirements of the host site; the more stringent requirements will apply.

UVM Face Coverings 

Effective Saturday, March 19, 2022, masks are optional in all* locations at UVM, indoor and outdoor!

We recognize there are members of our community who, for a number of reasons, will feel more comfortable wearing a mask in different situations. Please respect their decision. The UVM community has demonstrated an exceptional level of care, compassion, and respect throughout the pandemic. We know that will continue.

All members of the community should keep masks accessible, as there are times and places in which it will be necessary to mask*.

  • Masks are required at Student Health Services including at the symptomatic testing location at Jeanne Mance, and at the Eleanor M. Luse Center.
  • You must wear a mask when riding on any UVM bus or other public transportation.
  • Clinical and internship sites, including UVMMC, may have specific mask requirements which supersede UVM’s mask policy.
  • There may be additional, limited situations when mask use is required to comply with a legal requirement.

Please carry a mask with you and pay attention to posted signage about masking around campus.

All users of UVM buildings must continue to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. They cannot come to campus nor participate in UVM in-person activities if they are experiencing symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, or been identified as a close contact until they have met the VDH isolation, quarantine, and/or testing requirements.

General Guidance

How to Select A Face Covering

FOr best protection, your face covering should meet or exceed the CDC Face Coverings Guidance:

  • Completely cover your nose and mouth;
  • Fit snugly and comfortably around your face leaving no gaps;
  • Allow you to breathe normally without restriction;
  • Not have any valves that allow exhaled air through the face covering without being filtered; and
  • Be constructed of at least 2 layers of cloth and/or filtering material that is tightly woven and does not let light pass through when held up to a light source.

UVM has KN95 and other  Masks Available

No protection is provided when no mask is worn or masks are worn improperly. Washable cloth masks made of multiple layers of fabric provide some protection. Disposable medical masks provide better protection. High filtration masks are most protective and may filter 95% of airborne particles. Double masking with cloth and medical masks is also more protective.

How to Wear Your Face Covering

Follow CDC instructions for proper use, handling, and disposable of face coverings: 

  • Always have more than one face covering with you in case one gets wet, dirty, or damaged during the day.
  • Cloth face coverings should be laundered at the end of the day and must be laundered regularly. Disposable face coverings should be thrown away.

Face Coverings Accommodations

Any employee or student who is not able to wear a cloth or disposable face covering for medical reasons may request to be considered for a reasonable accommodation to use a face covering alternative.

Employees and students may also request to be considered for additional respiratory protection due to a medical condition.

Employees should contact the UVM ADA Coordinator in Human Resource Services at accessibility@uvm.edu  or 802-656-0945 to request accommodations. Students should contact Student Accessibility Services at access@uvm.edu or 802-656-7753.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did UVM lift its indoor mask requirement?

There were several factors involved in making the decision to make masks optional on campus:
• 100% of eligible students are fully vaccinated and boosted,
• 100% of employees are compliant with the vaccine policy and nearly 70% have voluntary reported receiving their booster shot,
• COVID-19 PCR testing remains available to all members of our community, and
• Vermont continues to see low hospitalization and ICU rates, and the state has ample access to both monoclonal antibodies and antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19.

Are there areas around campus that still require masks?

At this time, masks are still required in the following locations:
• On-campus healthcare facilities including Student Health Services and the symptomatic testing location at Jeanne Mance,
• On-campus isolation space,
• UVM shuttle buses and other public transit systems, and
• Certain clinical and internship sites, including UVMMC, may have specific mask requirements that supersede UVM’s mask policy.
Please carry a mask with you and pay attention to posted signage about masking around campus.

What if I still want to wear a mask on campus?

You can still wear your mask even though it is no longer required.  There are many reasons why someone may want to continue masking, and we should continue to respect each other’s choices.

Can somebody require mask use in a specific space or activitiy? (i.e. in an office or in a classroom)

With the exceptions of healthcare settings and public transportation, the UVM masking requirement has been lifted. Individuals cannot instate mask requirements for spaces or activities.

It is appropriate for individuals to advocate for themselves and state that they are uncomfortable with people not being masked. Everybody should continue to demonstrate care, compassion, and respect for each other’s decisions to wear masks and to not wear masks.

Faculty who want to see continued masking in a class, might encourage it by telling students in advance that they plan to wear a mask themself, that their classroom will be mask-friendly, and part of their reason to wear one is to express that it is okay for students who want to make that choice. 

Individuals who would like people to wear a mask in an office or similar space, might state that they will be wearing a mask and that the space should be mask-friendly.

Even when others are choosing to not wear masks, remember that one-way masking still provides protection to the wearer, as does physical distancing, ventilation, washing hands, and covering sneezes and coughs.

Is UVM still giving out masks?

Yes.  Members of UVM community are still able to get two free KN95 masks at a time.  Masks are given out at the Testing Center in the Davis Center.

Are face coverings still required in healthcare facilities?

Yes.  Per CDC recommendations, masks are required in all healthcare facilities, including those on UVM campus.

Are face coverings still required on UVM shuttle buses?

Yes.  The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has a mask requirement across all public transit systems, including UVM shuttle buses.  TSA extended their mask requirement on public transit systems until April 18th.

UVM will update our requirements as circumstances change.

When are face coverings recommended?

Masking is one way you can protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  You may want to keep masking on campus if you are immuno-compromised or are taking care of someone who is at high risk for serious disease.

I am not yet fully vaccinated; do I have to wear a mask indoors?

No.  Masks are optional for all members of the UVM community, including those who are not considered fully vaccinated.

 


 

LAST UPDATED 16 March 2022 Questions about content: UVM.Strong@uvm.eduQuestions about webpage: safety@uvm.edu