UVA, Virginia Tech announce new face mask mandates
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia is requiring everyone on campus to wear face masks indoors starting Monday in the wake of rising coronavirus infections from a highly contagious variant.
All students, faculty, staff and visitors -- including those vaccinated -- will have to wear masks when entering any UVA building, The Daily Progress of Charlottesville reported.
The restrictions, in keeping with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, come as fall classes begin later this month.
Like elsewhere in the country, the delta variant is contributing to an increase in daily cases and hospitalizations in Virginia.
“This policy will allow us to start the year at full capacity and reduce the likelihood of a spike in cases driven by the delta variant and a coming together of students from many places,” UVA provost Liz Magill and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis wrote in an email to the university community Friday.
UVA officials said they’re hoping to lift the mask mandate for those who are vaccinated by Sept. 6.
Virginia Tech also announced late last week that all instructors and students will have to wear face coverings in classrooms and laboratories when classes begin Aug. 23.
And starting Tuesday, face masks are needed in indoor public spaces of Virginia Tech-owned and -leased properties in communities that have what the CDC calls “substantial or high community transmission.” It doesn’t apply to private work places not open to the public.
The two universities also are requiring students coming to campus this fall to be fully vaccinated, with medical and religious exemptions allowed.