The University relaxes COVID-19 policies
With the recent reduction in positive rates on campus, the University has implemented changes to COVID-19 regulations on campus, including making masks not mandatory in many locations and reducing testing frequency.
On March 3, Carol A. Fierke, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Stew Uretsky, executive vice president for finance and administration, and Raymond Lu-Ming Ou, vice president for student affairs, sent an email to the Brandeis community regarding updated COVID-19 policies. The email stated that Brandeis’ positivity rate is below statewide rates for the general population, as well as other college campuses.
With Waltham, Boston, and the state of Massachusetts relaxing their COVID-19 policies, the University will also relax their protocols starting March 7 with the goal of a “more typical experience on campus,” according to the email.
The email stated that masks will be optional on campus for fully vaccinated individuals, with a number of exceptions for specific locations on campus. The first exception is in classrooms, but fully vaccinated individuals may remove masks if the instructor allows it. The second exception is for audiences at indoor performances, sporting events, or venues with concentrated occupancy. Masks will also remain mandatory on Brandeis transportation vans, shuttles, and buses. Lastly, the email specifies that if there is a masking requirement posted somewhere on campus, masks remain mandatory in that location.
For unvaccinated individuals, masking policies remain unchanged; they must wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor locations unless eating, drinking, or in a space alone.
Regarding testing, the email explained that fully vaccinated students are only required to test once a week. Staff are recommended, but not required, to test once a week. Unvaccinated individuals should continue to test every 96 hours. Starting March 7, all testing will be held in the Shapiro Science Center rather than in both the SSC and Mandel Center for the Humanities.
Updated travel restrictions state that fully vaccinated individuals who travel outside of New England must submit a COVID-19 test and wear a mask indoors when arriving back on campus until they receive a negative result. The email specifies that this change only applies to vaccinated community members.
The email stated that in the coming weeks, the University “looks forward to further relaxation of policies.”