Effective February 28, 2022
Face masks are no longer required on the UMSL campus as outlined by the University of Missouri System. However, in keeping with CDC recommendations, UMSL officials strongly recommend that all individuals wear a face mask while occupying indoor campus spaces – especially when social distancing is not possible – regardless of vaccination status. Face masks continue to be required for faculty, staff, volunteers and students who provide direct patient services at university-operated clinics and mental health care sites, as well as patients served at these sites.
While wearing a face mask is just one additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the best protection against COVID-19 remains vaccination. We strongly encourage you to get vaccinated if you have not done so and encourage those who have been vaccinated to get a booster if eligible. And, we encourage those who have not yet submitted their record of full vaccination to do so in the myHR portal. Sharing this information assists us in managing our university’s pandemic response.
As always, if you are sick, please stay home. Even if your symptoms are mild, please stay home to learn or work remotely if you are able. We ask professors and supervisors to encourage and support this behavior by providing alternative arrangements for learning and work to continue remotely. Please remember that students, faculty and staff are required to Report COVID-19 Diagnosis or Symptoms.
Yes. There may be additional times with individuals may required to wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status. For example:
- Individuals must follow applicable federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including individual business and workplace policies when engaged in university business or educational programs.
- Individuals are required to wear a face covering on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation within the United States.
- Healthcare professionals are required to follow current CDC guidance for infection prevention and control within all UMSL healthcare and clinical settings.
- Those engaging with youth under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination.
Yes. While the risk of COVID-19 infection and subsequent transmission to others is very low among those who are fully vaccinated, it is not zero. The university understands that many individuals remain concerned about the risks of COVID-19. Those who are fully vaccinated and feel more comfortable wearing a face mask in additional spaces - such as all outdoor spaces - are encouraged to do so based on their own perspectives and individual health factors. Continuing these practices in public isn't just protecting you, it’s also protecting those around you. Additionally, for many people, masking serves as part of a culture of respect for those who cannot or have not been vaccinated. For example, a parent may remain masked in order to serve as a good example for unvaccinated children.
Face shields are not sufficient alone and the CDC does not recommend using face shields or goggles as a substitute for masks, but they can always be coupled with a mask. Face shields and goggles are primarily used to protect the eyes of the person wearing it. Goggles do not cover the nose and mouth and face shields are not as effective at protecting you or the people around you from respiratory droplets.