BYU students to wear masks indoors to begin fall semester

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PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – When classes begin on August 30, Brigham Young University students will be required to wear masks in all indoor classroom settings, the school announced on Friday.

Speaking with ABC4.com earlier in the summer, BYU officials stated they were gathering data via surveys to enrolled students to determine the best course of action. In conjunction with Friday’s update to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the Provo-based university reports that 70% of students and 76% of faculty and staff have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

While the university states it was “encouraged” by the results of the survey, the release also adds “there is still a need for more of the community to be immunized.”

It was previously expected that the fall semester will commence without a mask requirement, as reported in May, however, with the pandemic still lingering, largely due to the emergence of variants in the virus, plans have had to be adjusted.

Classrooms are set to operate at full capacity for the fall, thus prompting BYU’s mandate for students to be masked up in indoor areas where social distancing isn’t possible. Fully vaccinated faculty members who are able to maintain an appropriate distance from their students in the classroom will be permitted to remove their masks, the school notes. The situation will be revisited at the end of September to determine the appropriate next steps.

BYU will also provide an appreciation voucher, good for a snack or food item of their choice, for students who are fully vaccinated or cannot receive a vaccine due to a medical exemption.

Earlier in the week, leadership from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns and operates the private university, released a statement counseling its members to get vaccinated and wear masks when needed.

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