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Facial covering requirements reinstated

The following message was sent to all students, faculty and staff Aug. 11, 2021.

As we prepare to welcome students and faculty back for fall semester, we want to update you on our plans to mitigate the spread of COVID on campus and in our community. Although we hoped that this year would look more like pre-pandemic years, sharp increases in Delta variant COVID infections are concerning. The Delta variant is highly contagious — CDC projects that it may cause more than twice as many infections as earlier variants. Because it is so transmissible, we are seeing an increase in breakthrough infections (that is, infections in fully vaccinated individuals who remain asymptomatic or have such mild symptoms that they don’t know they’re infected).

Since the Delta variant poses a significant risk to the health and safety of campuses and communities across the state, after consultation with the State Board of Education and our sister institutions, all state 4-year public research universities are reinstating campus facial covering requirements. Effective on Thursday, August 12, facial coverings must be worn in indoor public spaces ­owned or controlled by the university as well as in crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Facial coverings are not required when working alone in an enclosed space, classroom, or in a residence hall room.

Although this will help mitigate the spread of the Delta variant, the safest and most effective way to protect yourself, your friends and loved ones, as well as our community, is to get vaccinated. COVID vaccines are proven to significantly reduce your chances of getting infected, and if you are, to reduce the likelihood that you’ll become seriously ill. COVID vaccines are available at no cost at the Boise State Vaccination Clinic as well as many other local clinics.

Getting vaccinated, wearing a facial covering, washing your hands frequently, and staying home if you are sick will help keep you and our community healthy. Implementing these infection mitigation strategies now gives us the best chance of enjoying all of our favorite fall activities — including football games, student life activities, and social gatherings — with minimal disruptions.

As with everything COVID related, this remains a dynamic situation. Should conditions improve significantly, these requirements will be revisited. The Public Health team will continue to update you as conditions warrant. Thank you for all you do to keep our campus healthy and safe.

Be well,
Dr. Marlene Tromp, President
Dr. John Buckwalter, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Alicia Estey, Vice President for University Affairs and Chief of Staff
Jeramiah Dickey, Executive Director for Athletics
Matthew Ewing, Vice President for University Advancement
Dr. Nancy Glenn, Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Mark Heil, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer
Dr. Edward Whipple, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management