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The Antelope

UNK to require face masks in classrooms, labs

CASSIE BROWN / ANTELOPE STAFF Mask requirements at UNK will be re-evaluated when the fall semester approaches.

UNK students, faculty, staff and visitors will be required to wear face masks when in classrooms and labs, starting Wednesday and ending Oct. 6.

Todd Gottula, the senior director of UNK Communications and Marketing, sent a campus-wide email that said the following:

As UNK enters the fourth week of the fall semester, one of our top goals is to safely continue in-person learning, teaching and work activities and limit the potential for a move to remote operations.

Widespread vaccinations have proven to significantly reduce positive cases of COVID-19 on campus and in the community. UNK strongly encourages students and employees to be fully vaccinated, and several opportunities are available for free vaccinations through UNK Student Health.

Again, UNK plans to continue in-person classes and host events and activities. The best way to do this is for people to be vaccinated. The University has strong momentum, with more than 68% of students already vaccinated, according to a recent survey conducted by UNK. But we need more. Please do your part.

In addition to vaccinations, masks are an effective layer of protection. UNK encourages and welcomes all to wear masks. If you want more protection, wear a mask. If you are concerned about interacting with students or others, ask them to put on a mask when in proximity. If they refuse, offer an alternate mode of interaction (email, phone, zoom).

Beginning Wednesday (Sept. 15), all UNK students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear face masks inside all classrooms and labs. This decision, recommended by UNK’s Emergency Operations Team, is necessary due to an increase in the regional transmission of COVID-19 in the community and state.

This mask policy will remain in effect until Oct. 6. The University will continue to review and monitor active cases on campus, in the health department area and Nebraska. UNK’s policy is subject to change if circumstances warrant.

This preventative measure updates UNK’s current Phase 3 status.

Additional Phase 3 protocols of note:
• Face masks are not required in other indoor / non-classroom settings on campus, such as the Nebraskan Student Union, Calvin T. Ryan Library, Health and Sports Center, Fine Arts Building performance areas and residence halls.
• While masks are not required outdoors at this time, including athletic events, they are highly recommended.
• Individuals can work unmasked in offices and while attending meetings outside the classroom.
• Unvaccinated individuals should wear masks.
• Faculty should be cognizant of students who need to see the speaker’s mouth to understand speech and should wear a mask with a clear plastic mouth covering if that is indicated.

Employees and students are required to report to UNK’s Public Health Center if they test positive for COVID, have symptoms or were in contact with someone who has COVID. Contact the Public Health Center (PHC): 308-865-8279 or The PHC will advise the individual on monitoring, quarantine and isolation as appropriate. People diagnosed with COVID will have to be cleared by the PHC before returning to campus activity.

View the entire Plan to Mitigate the Spread of Infectious Diseases Fall 2021

View the UNK COVID page
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