From The Tribune staff reports
TUSCALOOSA — Following their longtime rival’s lead, The University of Alabama updated its COVID-19 mask policy on August 4, 2021, due to the surge of the Delta variant COVID-19 cases. Masks will now be required indoors and areas where social distancing is not possible.
The new policy goes into effect on Friday, August 6, 2021. It applies to all students and faculty/staff members regardless of their vaccination status. and will apply to everyone regardless of vaccination status.
This news comes two days after Auburn updated its mask policy. AU now requires everyone to wear masks inside all Auburn University buildings and on university transportation (including Tiger Transit).
In the Capstone’s latest policy, these are the places masks must be worn:
- In classrooms and classroom buildings, regardless of distancing
- In personal meeting spaces, such as meetings with faculty and advisors
- When gathering in common spaces, such as the Student Center
- On campus transportation
The following are the exceptions that UA listed in the policy:
- Indoor areas when distanced
- When alone in offices and private workspaces
- In residence hall rooms
- While eating or drinking
- While exercising
- Faculty teaching, if distanced and behind plexiglass
Officials sayUA the indoor mask mandate is intended to be temporary and will be reviewed after the first two weeks of classes.
“Vaccinations are the key to a successful fall semester and the key to moving beyond these types of requirements,” Dr. Ricky Friend, Dean of the College of Community Health Sciences, said via a written statement. “Everyone is strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. Data continues to show the vaccines provide very strong protection against serious illness and hospitalization.”
T0 sweeten the pot, UA is also offering $20 in Bama Cash to students who upload proof of vaccination.
“Our vaccine numbers among faculty and staff are strong — the percentage vaccinated more than doubles the statewide number. We are still learning about the students who were vaccinated over the summer, and will be offering expanded opportunities for vaccination as classes approach. Again, vaccination is key,” Friend said in a written statement.
To review the latest UA Health information, visit this page.