Mask mandate issued for University of Delaware students

The University of Delaware campus in Newark. (Cris Barrish/WHYY)

The University of Delaware campus in Newark. (Cris Barrish/WHYY)

Masks will be required in all indoor buildings at the University of Delaware, with few exceptions.

The only indoor places where masks won’t be required are students’ residence halls. Masks will be required in common areas in the dorms if students can’t maintain a distance of 3 feet from one another.

UD officials announced the adjustment to the school’s COVID-19 protocols Friday afternoon, as Delaware’s coronavirus case numbers have continued to rise in recent weeks.

In May, UD told students they would be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if they planned to return for in-person classes this fall. That followed similar requirements for students at Delaware State University in Dover.

UD officials say the updated masking requirement comes as a result of recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which called for masking in areas where there is substantial or high transmission of the virus.

The university is also recommending that everyone on campus wear a mask while outdoors or maintain distance from others. A decision on what will be required for fans attending sporting events, including football games this fall, has not yet been announced.

On Thursday, Gov. John Carney said he was considering a mask mandate for Delaware public schools, as the number of coronavirus cases has jumped 600% over the past five weeks. Carney also said he’s looking at the possibility of requiring some state workers to be vaccinated.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that state would require masks for all students, educators, staff, and visitors when schools reopen in a few weeks.

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