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February 3, 2022

We began this spring semester while Mesa County was experiencing high levels of COVID-19 community transmission. This, coupled with the omicron variant peaking at a time when our students and faculty were not on campus, resulted in a gap in data important to our COVID-19 response. These factors resulted in a two-week mask requirement in academic indoor instructional spaces.

We said that we would use this two-week period to collect and reevaluate the data, and we did. Our team has analyzed the updated previous infection, vaccination status and patterns of omicron variant transmission in the last two weeks. Armed with this additional data, we are prepared to return to similar targeted mitigation strategies for this semester that served us so well in the fall. Our masking restrictions were put in place for a defined space, for a defined period, and for a defined purpose. Our defined objectives in this regard have been met and the university will now move away from a masking requirement.

Starting Saturday, February 5, mindful masking will be encouraged, but masks are no longer required in academic indoor instructional spaces. The data continues to validate that classrooms remain a very low-transmission risk on campus, reinfections remain rare, as do serious COVID-19 cases, and our Mavilies are not seeing outbreaks. We are committed to remaining nimble in our response based on the evidence and our continued partnership with health experts advising our data-informed plan.

Our CMU Health team continuously reevaluates COVID-19 risk levels and precautions that need to be taken, and we encourage every member of our Maverick community to do the same. Education has been at the core of our pandemic response, and we encourage all faculty, staff and students to stay engaged in the critical thinking necessary to discern healthy behaviors and choices. The Health Team will be sending additional details on our ongoing response plan and tools for supporting individual and community wellness for the spring semester.

Let’s commit to continuing to learn together as we integrate a holistic approach into our COVID-19 response and lead together in making healthy choices a priority for our Maverick community.