Eastern Michigan University to relax masking mandate in some indoor spaces on Monday

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Starting Monday, Eastern Michigan University will no longer require students, educators and visitors to wear masks in shared reception areas, service areas and some other indoor spaces on the Ypsilanti campus.

The university will also stop requiring campus community members to use its daily COVID PASS health screening tool. Instead, staff and students are asked to voluntarily answer the screening questions.

While students in classrooms and laboratory instructional spaces will need to remain masked, educators who have verified their vaccination status can teach without a mask, officials said.

Masks will continue to be required in several situations including some private offices, shared transportation, the Student Center COVID-19 testing site and at large events, such as symposiums and commencement ceremonies.

Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, or those identified as close contacts of COVID-19 positive individuals, must wear masks and report their status to the university.

Despite the updated masking policy, students and staff will still be able to pick up free face masks from different locations around the campus.

Read: University of Michigan drops mask mandate for indoor sports, offices, residence halls

Officials said that other COVID-19 policies would be continued including positive case reporting and mandatory testing for unvaccinated students and employees.

The policy adjustment was made after campuswide, countywide and statewide COVID-19 positivity numbers reduced dramatically. Positive cases found during free COVID-19 testing has also been reduced and over 90 percent of the on-campus community has reported as vaccinated.

According to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard, only 15 positive COVID-19 cases were reported between March 16-22 and 941 tests were administered with only 5 resulting in positive cases.

Almost 96 percent of students living in on-campus housing and 91.8 percent of regular employees are vaccinated.

None of the university’s 76 on-campus isolation and quarantine beds were in use as of Thursday, March 24.

Find more COVID-19 resources at Eastern Michigan University here.

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Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.