By Cecilia Cress
The Washington College Response Team sent an indoor mask policy reminder email to all students, faculty, and staff on Sept. 1.
According to the email, “Until further notice, masks are required by everyone — regardless of vaccination status — in all indoor public spaces. That means that everyone should be masked when entering campus facilities and should abide by the below guidelines about where masks are to be worn and where they may not be required.”
The full mask policy was included in the email, and is as follows:
Everyone on campus must be masked in all public indoor spaces: this does not include private offices, student rooms, or suites, because these spaces are not considered public. Public spaces are all of the areas “where you are likely to come in contact with individuals that you do not live with or share an office with.” Public indoor spaces where masks are required include classrooms, labs , the Johnson Fitness Center, Cain Athletic Center, Casey Academic Center, Miller Library, theaters, other large meeting areas, and Hodson Hall when not eating or drinking.
Residence Halls: the email said it is strongly recommended that students wear masks in public areas within the halls while in contact with other students. These areas include lounges, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
Work: co-workers who regularly are in close contact in the workplace may agree to remove their masks indoors when no outside visitors are occupying that workspace.
Outdoors: masks are optional for vaccinated individuals. However, masks are advised for unvaccinated individuals outdoors when social distancing is not possible. The email stated, “We reserve the right to require masks be worn by all attendees at some large outdoor events. If this is a requirement, that information will be clearly communicated and posted.”
Testing: masks are required for unvaccinated individuals during any required surveillance testing.
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Sarah Feyerherm said that due to the influx of information constantly being sent out regarding the guidelines of the COVID-19 pandemic, this indoor mask policy reminder was meant to reinforce the guidelines set in place on campus as well as clear any confusion amongst the student body.
“We see that now as probably one of the most important policies that we need to keep pushing out. In part it was we were getting some reports of people not complying across campus so we wanted to be very clear,” Dr. Feyerherm said.