Mason ditches its mask mandate and implements mask-optional and COVID-19 test-optional rules
BY ALLISON ALBERTY, SOCIAL MEDIA AND GRAPHICS EDITOR
Mason facilitated a town hall on their mask mandate in early March, where President Gregory Washington announced that Mason would be moving toward optional mask usage on campus. On March 4, the usage of a mask became optional in more public spaces but remained necessary in places such as the classroom, transportation, healthcare settings, and childcare settings.
On April 5, Washington released an email to the Mason community regarding COVID-19 and mask usage, sharing that positivity rates of COVID-19 on Mason campuses were below 1 percent and community transmission in Fairfax County has been categorized as “low.”
Per the email, COVID-19 tests are now optional due to the low contract and transmission rates of the virus. Those that are not test optional are unvaccinated, high-contact students.
Masks on all Mason campuses are now optional and only needed in certain event venues or childcare settings. Washington provided a Safe Return to Campus link that could be visited to specify where and when masks and tests are still required.
“Every Mason Patriot should feel free to practice the masking measures that make you feel safe,” Washington wrote. “If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, we support you. If you choose not to wear a mask where they are optional, we support you as well.”
Freshman Rachel Rosenberg is supportive of Mason removing the mask mandate, “It makes sense that Mason is removing their mask mandate with the low test [result] trends.”
Rosenberg continued, “I agree with their new stance on masks. If you feel more comfortable wearing it you should and if you don’t want to wear one, don’t.”
Sophomore Afrah Maknojia was concerned with how this will affect in-person classes, “I believe that the mask mandate being optional across the whole campus including inside classrooms is a problem,” said Maknojia.
“Having it in classrooms is important as to how closely each student sits next to each other. Outside of classrooms, we have the ability to socially distance at a protective rate.”
Mason is still asking students, faculty and staff to complete the Mason COVID Health Check each day before coming to campus.