Mask use, social distancing rolled back

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Mask use, social distancing rolled back

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is moving forward with plans to return to near-normal, pre-pandemic activity levels on campus in the fall 2021 semester.

National and local guidance from health officials has allowed University of Nebraska–Lincoln officials to dial back COVID-19 protocols requiring mask use and social distancing on campus.

Announced in a May 21 email from Chancellor Ronnie Green, the update goes into effect immediately for all fully vaccinated members of the campus community.

“We are following the scientific conclusions and safety recommendations of both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department,” Green said. “It is very important to note that these changes only affect those who are fully vaccinated.

“As Dr. (Anthony) Fauci stated, ‘It’s an assurance to those who are vaccinated that they can feel safe, be they indoors or outdoors.’”

Students, faculty, staff and visitors who are not vaccinated are expected to continue to wear face masks and practice social distancing while on campus. Green also strongly encouraged all to complete the vaccine process.

“Without vaccination, an individual remains at risk for the impact of COVID-19, which can include hospitalization, long-term health impacts and death,” Green said. “It is far and away the best way to protect yourself.”

Vaccines are readily available nationwide, including through the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and area pharmacies.

Following CDC recommendations announced May 14 and changes to city/county requirements starting May 21, capacity within most campus venues returns to 100%.

Additional campus guidance in response to the virus — including classroom/lab modifications, communication and signage, summer youth camps, university-sponsored travel and fall semester protocols — will be announced.

As the pandemic response remains dynamic, Green is asking Huskers to be respectful of others.

“It’s natural, after being vigilant for so long, that even those who are fully vaccinated may feel more comfortable continuing to wear a mask and may choose to do so,” Green said. “Our university community successfully navigated this pandemic thus far because of our ingenuity, hard work, flexibility and grace.

“As we all ease back into more pre-pandemic ways of life, work and learning, I ask you to continue to treat each other with grace and goodwill.”

The university is offering voluntary saliva-based testing for any member of the campus community who wishes to be tested. Learn more about testing and the university’s ongoing COVID-19 response.

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