William & Mary temporarily requiring masks indoors; more than 80% of students, staff fully vaccinated

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(Photo courtesy: William & Mary)

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — William & Mary will temporarily reinstate its mask mandate following recent CDC guidance and to limit spread of the coronavirus ahead of college’s Sept. 17 vaccination deadline.

The CDC recently recommended that people, vaccinated or not, wear masks indoors due to the potential of spreading the more contagious delta variant. Areas surrounding William & Mary area are currently experiencing high transmission.

More than 80% of students and staff are now fully vaccinated, William & Mary says, and that number is going up each day.

The new mask requirement went into effect Tuesday, August 10 for all classrooms, labs, shared offices and indoor hallways. It does not apply to single-occupant offices, student rooms or common areas in residence halls. It will go through the end of September and the college will evaluate whether to keep the requirement based on a guidance from public health officials and local virus data.

Masks will not be required outdoors but will be recommended for large gatherings.

“Vaccinated or not, if you feel a mask would afford you greater protection or help protect those around you, please do not hesitate to “mask up,'” the college said in a statement. ” … as research on the delta variant in vaccinated individuals evolves, wearing masks offers a simple, inexpensive and effective temporary measure as more people return to our campus. We expect that everyone at W&M will support each other in these public health practices, with mutual understanding and respect. Thank you again for doing your part to keep our community well.”

JMU also announced a similar temporary mask requirement this week.

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