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BYU will require masks in classrooms this fall

More of the campus community needs to be vaccinated, school says. Requirement begins Monday and will be revisited early in the fall semester.

This fall, BYU will require masks in classrooms and other indoor spaces where physical distancing is not maintained.
Beginning Monday, BYU will require masks in classrooms and other indoor spaces where physical distancing is not maintained, the school announced Friday on its website.
Nate Edwards/BYU

BYU will require masks in classrooms when schools starts on Aug. 30, even though 70% of students and 76% of faculty and staff have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination.

“While BYU is encouraged by the number of immunizations reported among the campus community, there is still a need for more of the community to be immunized,” said the update to BYU’s coronavirus webpage.

BYU required students, faculty and staff to report their vaccination status by Thursday. The campus vaccination rates included reports from students and employees on Friday.

The school will reevaluate mask requirements at the end of September, the school said.

Faculty who are vaccinated may remove their masks to teach if they maintain physical distance.

The announcement did not directly address attendance at outdoor sports events, but BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said the announced COVID-19 protocol was restricted to indoor spaces. Those spaces also are home to dozens of Sunday worship services for students who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Sunday worshippers should follow the protocol established by their ecclesiastical leaders,” Jenkins said in a text.

Here is BYU’s full announcement:

To begin the fall semester, Brigham Young University will require masks in classrooms, in any indoor space when physical distancing isn’t maintained and in other areas when directed. Because classrooms will be operating at full capacity during fall semester, all students must wear masks when attending in-person classes regardless of vaccination status. Fully vaccinated faculty who maintain physical distance from their students may remove their masks to teach.

These requirements will begin Monday, August 23. The university will continue to monitor the situation and will re-evaluate mask requirements at the end of September based on several factors including the immunization rate of the campus community, COVID-19 transmission and hospitalization rates, and guidance from health and government officials.

BYU strongly urges students, employees and campus guests to follow recent counsel from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to get vaccinated and wear masks in public meetings with limited distancing.

Based on reports received as of August 20, 70% of students and 76% faculty and staff have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination. While BYU is encouraged by the number of immunizations reported among the campus community, there is still a need for more of the community to be immunized.