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UW System to end mask mandate by spring break

February 16, 2022 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — University of Wisconsin System officials said Wednesday they plan to end their campus mask mandates by spring break.

UW System President Tommy Thompson announced that widespread vaccinations and waning case numbers on system campuses and across the state justify the move. Thompson said vaccines and tests will still be available on campus and students and employees can still opt to wear masks if they wish.

System officials say they plan to withdraw mandates as soon as March 1. They plan to be finished ending them no later than spring break. University of Wisconsin-Madison officials said Wednesday that they will end that campus’ mask mandate on March 12, the start of spring break.

Associated Students of Madison, the university’s student government body, issued a statement saying the mandate should remain in place until the spring semester ends to protect members of the university community who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and can’t engage in in-person academics without masks.

The state’s seven-day average of positive cases stood at 1,828 as of Monday, according to the state health department. That’s down from a seven-day average of 18,816 cases on Jan. 19.