Additional Details on New Masking Policies

March 2, 2022

To: Members of the University Community
From: Katie Callow-Wright, Executive Vice President of the University

In last Friday’s COVID-19 update, we announced that the University of Chicago will go mask optional for much of campus beginning March 4. The mask requirement for classrooms and instructional laboratory spaces will remain through the end of Winter Quarter on March 19 to maintain continuity for students and instructors in classroom settings.

We are grateful for the caring spirit that the University community has maintained throughout the pandemic. Especially during this time of transition, we ask that everyone be courteous of others and respect each other’s choices and requests.

We have posted a Frequently Asked Questions resource that addresses many details of this policy. Here are some key points:

  • UChicago Medicine will maintain its own masking policies; the Laboratory Schools and UChicago Charter School will communicate separately about their masking policies.
  • Masks will continue to be required on UChicago buses and shuttles, such as UGo, in alignment with local and federal requirements for public transit.
  • In keeping with the City of Chicago’s continuing mask mandate for health care settings, additional requirements may apply in certain areas of the Student Wellness Center and in COVID-19 testing sites; masking may also be required for live theater performances that are subject to city, state, or union policies.
  • Individuals who are unvaccinated or not up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings while in University buildings, with limited exceptions detailed in the FAQs.
  • Units, individuals and organizers of meetings or events may not require mask wearing by others or designate spaces where masks are required.
  • Individuals with disabilities who would like to request accommodations related to masking requirements or COVID-19 may do so using the University’s processes. More details are included in the FAQs.
  • See the University’s exposure protocol for more information about wearing a mask after a positive test or exposure.
  • The University will communicate about changes to classroom masking policies before the start of Spring Quarter.

Coinciding with this change will be updates to Travel, Convening, and Workplace Guidance that will be reflected on the UChicago Forward website, eliminating some prior requirements.

We appreciate your continued care when it comes to COVID-19 precautions, including:

  • Monitor for potential symptoms of COVID-19
  • Stay home and get tested if you are ill
  • Report any positive cases to C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu
  • Voluntary testing is generally available at no cost to participants – find more information on the UChicago Forward Voluntary Testing Program webpage