As COVID-19 case counts go up across the country and Salt Lake County experiences a high rate of transmission, the university is encouraging everyone on campus to take four simple steps:
- Get vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Always wear a facemask (covering your nose and mouth) indoors, regardless of your vaccination status.
- Get tested regularly if you are not vaccinated.
- If vaccinated, get tested if you have been exposed or have symptoms.
In accordance with state law, the university cannot require the campus community and visitors to wear a mask while indoors on campus. However, the CDC and Utah Department of Health strongly recommend that everyone do so for their health and the health and safety of others. As CDC guidance points out, even fully vaccinated individuals should wear a mask when indoors “to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others” in areas of substantial or high transmission like Salt Lake County.
Masks are required in medical settings, which includes all U of U Health facilities.
Other masking facts to remember:
- Even if you are fully vaccinated public health officials say you should wear a mask for 14 days if you’ve been exposed to the virus while you monitor for symptoms. The U’s full guidance for exposure is here.
- A study by the CDC showed that masks protect other people from getting infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and can be protective for the person wearing a mask.
- COVID-19 is most frequently spread through droplets and aerosol particles from our nose and mouth. Wearing a mask significantly decreases the chance a person will spread the virus to others or be infected by the virus.
- Masks should be at least two ply, but even a single barrier is better than nothing.
- Physical distancing of at least six feet remains a best practice to stop the spread of the virus. But, distancing isn’t always possible, especially in congested areas like hallways between classes or the line for food. So, a mask is your best option.
Getting through the current surge without significant interruptions to classes or activities will require all of campus working together to protect our community. Get vaccinated, get tested if you have symptoms or are at risk, and wear a mask when indoors.
Don’t just do it for you. Do it for U.