Duquesne Issues Temporary Mask Requirement as a Safety Precaution
Dear members of the Duquesne University community,
The University is announcing a temporary requirement that all individuals on campus, regardless of vaccination status, wear a face covering when indoors, both in public spaces and when they are in groups.
The requirement will be in place from Friday, August 13, through student move-in process, orientation and the first two weeks of classes. By Labor Day weekend, the University will evaluate whether the temporary requirement remains necessary.
Fully vaccinated students, faculty, and staff who are alone and not in a public or shared space may unmask. When dining in shared spaces, individuals should remain masked until they begin to eat or drink, and put masks back on when they are finished with their meal. Masks will not be required outdoors.
Taking this measure for a short period will help keep our campus community safe. A large number of students will be moving back to campus, some with people assisting them. Among those people some individuals may not be vaccinated. Therefore, this temporary precaution will allow the University to determine status of all students, faculty and staff, before refocusing measures and beginning a more flexible set of protocols for the new academic year.
The temporary safety precaution is consistent with the latest guidance provided by the Allegheny County Health Department in response to the CDC, largely due to the recent upsurgence of the Delta variant in our region. The measure has been made after discussion with leaders of the Student Government Association and our Faculty Senate, both of whom support it. Duquesne fully expects this measure to be temporary and intends to ease the expectation soon.
Duquesne's ability to lift the requirement depends on individuals doing their part to stay safe. Fortunately, our experience last year and the campus community's ability to work together to complete the year strongly suggests our mitigation efforts will allow us to return us to normalcy soon.
The University is also taking other safety measures:
- We continue to use enhanced cleaning practices in all buildings.
- As was communicated last week, all individuals are required to upload their proof of vaccination or their exemption (if applicable, for students).
- Students are to use the University's confidential student health record system.
- Faculty and staff are to upload proof of vaccination at https://patient-duq.medicatconnect.com/home.aspx.
- Those who are not recorded in the system as vaccinated will be required to wear a mask indoors and to participate in weekly COVID testing as a measure to ensure the safety of our entire Duquesne community.
Thank you in advance for all of your effort, patience, and good will as we get the new academic year under way in a positive fashion. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University’s academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.
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