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Breaking: Haverford Moves Towards Mask Optional COVID Policies

In an email at 7:46 am on April 1 to the Haverford community, Vice President of the College Jesse Lytle announced that Haverford would begin to move toward becoming a mask optional campus: “Taking into account data indicating low incidence of COVID on campus and in the region, our overwhelmingly vaccinated and boosted campus, and individuals’ ability to manage their own COVID safety through masking and other measures, we are adding more flexibility around on-campus COVID protections.”

Lytle clarified that the option to unmask would only apply to those community members who are vaccinated, boosted, asymptomatic, and not a close contact. He then outlined the places on campus where masks would still be required and those where they are now optional. 

Effective tomorrow, April 2, masks are no longer required at Haverford in “most campus spaces… including dining rooms, residence halls, common areas, office spaces, libraries, meeting rooms, and exercise spaces.” Lytle called these spaces “mask-friendly,” meaning that no students, staff, or faculty should be made to feel uncomfortable should they continue to mask in these spaces.

While the above list represents many of the indoor spaces around campus, there are still a few places where the College requires masking. Masks will still be mandatory in classrooms, labs, studios, and other instructional spaces. Also, lines and serving areas will continue to be mask-required spaces, so although the Dining Center will not require masking in the dining rooms, a mask will still be necessary for students to get food from the DC. Masks will also be mandatory for audience members at events and performances, in clinical spaces, such as Morris Health Services, and on the Blue Bus and Tri-co Shuttle.

Next in the email, Lytle discussed the new event policies. He announced that events would be permitted to designate whether or not attendees were required to mask. However, he noted that academically-focused events, or ones at which students might be expected to attend for a class, must continue to mandate masks. In addition, Lytle noted that indoor events could occur at full capacity, and student gatherings may continue to be held. He encouraged students to consult with the Office of Student Engagement in order to host safe parties and events and reminded them that masking and staying outdoors was the best way to prevent a super-spreader event like the one prior to spring break.

Finally, the email noted that there was no change in the travel policy. Additionally, Lytle reminded the community that any guest must also be asymptomatic, not a close contact, vaccinated, and boosted to unmask in the allowed campus spaces.

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