As the University welcomes new and returning students to campus for the fall semester, the school’s COVID-19 policies have changed. 

Though the majority of Brandeis community members will be fully vaccinated as of Aug. 26, the possibility of Delta variant breakthrough infections encourages all to proceed with caution. 

Unlike the 2020-21 academic year, there are fewer social distancing requirements. Indoor spaces, such as classrooms, dining halls and study spaces will return to full capacity like that of Fall 2019. 

Additionally, community members are permitted to have overnight guests, including those coming from outside the United States, who have proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Students who are vaccinated are also permitted to travel domestically without the Dean office’s approval and travel internationally with approval. 

However, all students regardless of vaccination status must continue to test every 96 hours— twice a week — as they did in the 2020-21 academic year. 

The rise of the Delta variant has continued the majority of the 2020-21 academic year’s masking policies despite high rates of vaccination among Brandeis community members. This means students must wear masks in all indoor public spaces, unless eating or drinking. Certain classes, such as those in the theater (THA), music (MUS) and foreign language departments, are, if the professor chooses, exempt from masking provided students show a green passport. 

Furthermore, there is still no eating in the library, though students are permitted to drink. The library will resume pre-COVID hours on Sep. 15. 

In outdoor spaces masks are optional, though encouraged. Students are also required to wear a mask if requested to, or if others around them are wearing masks, to ensure the comfort of all community members. 

For unvaccinated individuals, distancing, masking and travel requirements remain the same as the previous academic year. 

Classes resumed almost fully in person Aug. 26 — and there is an air of excitement tinged with caution as the community continues into a new kind of “unprecedented times.”