UA reinstates mask mandate for spring semester 

Keely Brewer | @keelykbrewer, Editor-in-Chief

The University of Alabama reinstated a campus mask mandate one day before normal operations resume and nine days before the spring semester begins. 

Masks are required regardless of vaccination status in academic buildings, offices, University Medical Center, the Student Health Center and campus transportation. The mandate also calls for unvaccinated individuals to wear masks indoors and in outdoor crowds. 

The state of Alabama ended 2021 with a surge of COVID-19 cases. All 67 counties have high levels of community transmission according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, which defines high transmission as either at least 100 cases per 100,000 people or a positivity rate greater than 10%. The 7-day statewide positivity rate is 36.4%. 

The University suspended its vaccine mandate for faculty, staff and student employees on Dec. 7 but continues to encourage vaccinations and boosters. Vaccines and tests are available at UMC and the SHC at no cost. 

“College of Community Health Sciences Dean Dr. Ricky Friend continues to emphasize the effectiveness and importance of interventions like vaccinations, boosters, and wearing well-fitting masks in all public locations,” according to a UA News release. 

The University has a limited number of quarantine spaces available for students on campus. There were 171 rooms available in fall 2021. 

Faculty, staff and students can consult the COVID-19 Support Program at 205-348-CV19 for guidance.