Elon University mask tenure extended through spring semester

The indoor mask’s tenure will continue through the start of the spring semester, according to a Jan. 25 email from Healthy Elon Committee Chairman Jeff Stein.

The decision stems from the high transmission of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. According to the Healthy Elon Dashboard, as of January 24, there are 18 ongoing active cases among students and 32 active cases among employees. In Alamance County, there are more than 13,000 cases of COVID-19, as reported by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The mask mandate extension also comes as testing ramps up on campus. On January 24, 183 tests were administered. Since Jan. 18, Elon University has administered more than 800 tests, according to the Healthy Elon Dashboard.

the CDC confirmed that properly fitted N95 and KN95 masks provide the best protection against Omicron. Spats, bandanas, hoodies or face masks with valves are not appropriate or adequate face coverings, according to Stein.

Before reinstating the mask mandate in August 2021, the CDC said it was no longer necessary for fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors in May 2021. Elon then followed this direction by adopting the same policy in June 2021.

In August 2021the university reinstated the mask mandate due to the number of community members traveling to campus and increased transmission of the virus in Alamance County. Now, the same caution is in place with the fast transmission of the Omicron variant.

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