University of Michigan: Face coverings required indoors starting Aug. 11

Mandate includes all U-M campuses, properties

The Michigan Union is at 530 S. State St. in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Sarah M. Parlette / WDIV)

ANN ARBOR – Face coverings will be required indoors at all University of Michigan-owned properties and campuses starting on Wednesday, U-M President Mark Schlissel announced in a letter to the school community on Monday morning.

The measure applies to everyone entering a U-M building, despite vaccination status.

Schlissel cited rising COVID cases involving the delta variant both on campus and throughout the country as the reason behind the mandate. He said face coverings will continue to be required on campus transit but not outdoors.

“I know that we’ve already become accustomed to not wearing a mask if vaccinated, but we want everyone in our community to be as safe as possible, especially as the highly infectious delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread,” he wrote. ‘Breakthrough infections’ can occur in vaccinated persons, but while they rarely lead to serious consequences, they can spread to others.”

To read the full policy, click here.

According to the letter, exceptions to the rule include:

  • Actively eating and drinking
  • While alone with the door closed in an enclosed office
  • Being in your own residence hall, including common areas

The face covering policy could change as U-M monitors community cases. The initial plan is to have the mandate in place for the beginning of the fall semester.

U-M’s Campus Health Response Committee recommended the masking measure for all campuses following recommendations from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention as well as county and state health agencies.

U-M recently announced a vaccine mandate for all three campuses aimed at ensuring a safer experience with minimized spread during the upcoming school year.

“We’re continuing to prepare for a fall semester that has more than 93 percent of Ann Arbor classes in person, residence halls at nearly full capacity, athletic and cultural events with fans and patrons, and outstanding in-person experiences for our students,” wrote Schlissel.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.