A next step in removing mask requirements on UWO campuses

Chancellor Andy Leavitt | February 16, 2022

Dear University community,

Today UW System President Thompson announced efforts to work with university chancellors to begin removing mask requirements on campuses as soon as March 1 and no later than institutions’ spring breaks.

As has been our practice throughout the pandemic, we have welcomed UW System support, collaboration and guidance while responding to COVID-19 locally and regionally. Our UW Oshkosh Emergency Operations Committee has diligently tracked COVID-19 positivity on our campuses and monitored conditions throughout UW Oshkosh’s three-campus region. The EOC continues to work closely with UW System leadership and, related to President Thompson’s announcement, offers the following localized recommendations. I have discussed them with UWO shared governance leaders and subsequently accepted them.

On March 1, UWO will lift indoor mask requirements (but continue to recommend masks in indoor spaces) on all three of its campuses, except in the following spaces:

  • All classrooms and labs
  • Our COVID-19 testing/vaccination centers
  • Student health center on the Oshkosh campus

To reiterate: The changes do not take effect until March 1. Until then, continue to wear masks in required indoor spaces on our three campuses. Again, as we’ve done throughout the pandemic, we’ll track conditions closely as we move into March. We remain prepared to eliminate mask requirements entirely as conditions warrant. Our EOC will continue to meet and evaluate data, making recommendations if circumstances change. Meanwhile, testing, vaccination and masks will continue to be made available as they currently are beyond March 1.

I am encouraged by the level of vaccination and by the low case rates on our campuses. As we continue to lift mask requirements, you are encouraged to continue wearing a mask, particularly if you have individual health concerns or concerns for vulnerable family members and friends. We respect the individual decisions peers and colleagues will make.

I thank President Thompson, his administrative team and our students, faculty, staff and community partners for everything they have done to help UWO create the safe conditions that made today’s next-steps announcement possible. We also appreciate the flexibility UW System leadership has continually provided university communities to monitor local COVID-19 data, trends and public health officials’ guidance as we have kept university life and learning moving forward.

Thank you for everything you continue to do, individually and collectively, to protect health and safety at UWO.

Chancellor Andy Leavitt

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