This message is sent on behalf of Executive Vice President Hof Milam, Provost Rogan Kersh and Vice President for Campus Life Shea Kidd Brown.
Dear Wake Forest community,
We are encouraged by the positive response to last week’s announcement that, starting March 5, Wake Forest will revise the campus mask requirements. Masks will continue to be required in classrooms, healthcare facilities and on University transportation. Unless posted otherwise, use of masks will be optional in other indoor campus spaces.
Beginning March 19, masks will continue to be required in healthcare facilities, on University transportation and under the circumstances outlined below. Masks will be optional in all other campus spaces, including classrooms.
We encourage everyone to carry a mask with them at all times. Please comply with a request to wear a mask, respecting fellow Wake Foresters with different health conditions and levels of risk tolerance.
Faculty and staff may request that students and colleagues wear masks in their respective classrooms, conference rooms and individual offices through the end of the semester. Faculty, staff and students with underlying health conditions can submit a request for reasonable accommodations through the normal accommodation processes. Boxes of surgical masks are available and can be requested through Procurement by faculty who request that students continue to wear masks in their respective classrooms. Staff should consult with their managers.
Circumstances requiring masks and other precautions:
- Masks must be worn in all healthcare facilities (e.g. Student Health Clinic) and on University transportation. [UPDATE: As of March 19, masks will not be required on University transportation.]
- Individuals should wear a mask if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- For updated information about expectations after a positive test result, quarantine and isolation guidelines, see the current CDC guidance or contact Student Health, the Faculty and Staff Clinic, or your healthcare provider.
- Individuals with underlying health conditions, medical or religious exemptions for COVID vaccinations or who are not yet up-to-date on COVID vaccinations are advised to continue wearing masks indoors as a personal precaution.
We ask our community to continue showing each other support and care as we adjust to this new phase. Many community members may still choose to wear a mask and may feel more comfortable in environments where everyone is masked. As recently noted by infectious disease expert Chris Ohl, MD, masks remain effective at reducing the likelihood of infection even when those around you are unmasked.
Updates to Other Protocols:
- As of Saturday, March 19, we will no longer require asymptomatic testing of individuals with exemptions to the University’s vaccination policy.
- Proof of up-to-date vaccination records or an approved exemption is still required for all faculty, staff and students.
- Protocols related to University events remain in place. We will continue to monitor the impact of these protocols and review the requirement for event attendees to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test over the coming weeks.
Dr. Ohl will hold a Zoom discussion with other health experts the week of March 14 open to faculty, staff, students, and families to provide additional health guidance and answer questions regarding masks, implications for those with underlying health conditions, and how to maintain health at home and at work.
We will continue to consult with public health professionals and rely on data to guide our approach. We are grateful for the continued cooperation and patience of the Wake Forest community.
As a reminder, we will hold a virtual forum for faculty and staff this afternoon at 4 p.m. Log-in information has been sent in a separate email.
Executive Vice President
Shea Kidd Brown
Vice President for Campus Life