Stanford University Drops Mask Mandate in Classrooms

United States North America Higher Education News COVID-19 by Erudera News Oct 27, 2022

Stanford University, US

Stanford University has announced changes to its mask policy for students, staff and faculty in classrooms.

The university has removed the mask mandate in classrooms since October 24, 2022, however, it still strongly recommends using face masks indoors and outdoors in crowded settings, Erudera.com reports.

“While vaccination is the most effective step we can take to minimize the spread of the highly transmissible COVID-19 virus, masking provides an extra level of protection and helps keep our community safe,” the university’s face-covering guidance states.

Despite the decision to drop the mask mandate, the school said in a statement that instructors can ask students to wear masks, but pointed out that they should inform students beforehand on Canvas, by email, or through the university’s learning management system.

According to the guidance, masks will continue to be required in Healthcare facilities, including Stanford University Occupational Health Center, Vaden Health Center, and Stanford Hospitals and Clinics. As per mask supplies, the university advised students to make sure they have their own masks.

“We encourage you to provide your own face covering wherever possible, and many members of our community have already purchased or made them for their use outside of Stanford. The university has a limited supply of face coverings available to faculty, staff, and students at the Arrillaga Family Dining Commons COVID testing site,” guidance reads.

Stanford officials said everyone who wants to wear masks is welcome to do so and encouraged other members of the community to respect the choice of each individual wanting to use masks.

In addition to masking, Stanford continues to require all students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral scholars who want to attend studies on campus to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Students are strongly encouraged to get booster vaccines if they’re eligible before returning to campus for the fall term, with exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

Recently, Santa Clara University (SCU) also issued a statement saying its students will no longer need to wear masks in classrooms, but it also advised students to wear masks indoors. Here too, instructors have the option to require masks inside classrooms.

“SCU recommends that all students, staff, faculty, and visitors wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose when indoors on SCU property,” SCU said.

Failing to respect the requirement set by faculty members will be considered a violation of Santa Clara University’s Student Conduct Code.

On the other hand, Rutgers University reimposed the mask mandate after receiving complaints from three faculty unions.

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