PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – Brigham Young University is urging students, employees, and guests wear masks while indoors if physical distancing is not possible.
In an update to its COVID-19 page, BYU says this is consistent with the recent message from The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective,” the First Presidency says in a letter to members.
In early August, BYU asked students, faculty, and staff to report their COVID-19 vaccination status ahead of the fall semester. The Provo-based university says the information “will help inform fall COVID-19 protocol decisions, such as mask requirements.”
BYU is encouraging, but not requiring, employees or students to get the COVID-19 vaccine to be on its Provo campus. Vaccination may be required for some travel, research, or other programs, BYU explains.
The recent update to BYU’s COVID-19 page says “details on fall semester safety protocol will be announced soon.”
Currently, Utah County – where BYU is located – is designated as a high transmission area due to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases. Based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this means those in Utah County should wear a mask, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
Earlier this year, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill into law saying Utah universities and colleges cannot require students receive the COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend in-person classes unless they allow students to opt-out of the vaccine for medical or personal reasons.
In June, BYU’s Hawaii campus announced it will require COVID-19 immunization for students beginning in the fall semester. The president of BYU’s Idaho campus recently urged students to consider getting their COVID-19 vaccine.