University of Mississippi to temporarily require masks in indoor spaces

Published 9:23 am Thursday, August 5, 2021

Students, faculty and staff are now required to wear masks indoors while on the University of Mississippi campus, regardless of vaccination status.

Chancellor Glenn Boyce made the announcement through an email sent to the university’s campus community on Wednesday. According to the email, wearing masks is a temporary requirement.

“This new temporary protocol is an evidence-based mitigation strategy which will assist us in delivering in-person learning and maintaining a full on-campus experience with the least amount of disruption,” Boyce stated in his email. “We’re optimistic that this temporary mask utilization indoors will help ensure a successful start to the school year. …We’ll evaluate this protocol daily based on how spread of the virus evolves on campus and in our community.”

Effective immediately, the university will require face coverings public office spaces, classrooms, conference rooms and other academic spaces like laboratories and libraries. Masks are also required when moving through public spaces in residence halls, dining facilities, the Ole Miss Student Union, campus recreation buildings and retail spaces.

For extracurricular  activities held indoors on campus, masks are required. Masks are not required for any outdoor activities.

The announcement comes after the university made masks optional on campus in the summer for individuals who were fully vaccinated. Mississippi State University and Delta State University also made similar mask requirement announcements on Wednesday.

“In fact, to have the full in-person experience, this strategy is being embraced by all eight public universities in Mississippi, as well as other SEC universities,” Boyce said.

Boyce’s email did not mention when the temporary mask requirement might be ended. The 2021 fall semester at Ole Miss begins on Aug. 23.