COVID-19 Face Coverings, Masks Policy Update

Posted on 8/16/21 3:35 PM

Effective Tuesday, August 17, at 8:00 a.m., IUP will require face coverings/masks to be worn indoors in public spaces at all campuses and centers. This is required of all people, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

IUP is continuing its plan to return to fully face-to-face instruction for fall. The change in IUP’s coronavirus mitigation policy related to masking adheres to the university’s continued precautions to keep its community safe, well, and together in person on campus to the fullest extent possible.

As we have stressed in previous communications, conditions will continue to be monitored, and plans will change if changes occur in the conditions and/or in the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

While masking outdoors will not be required, masking continues to be required on IndiGo buses (following CDC guidelines for public transportation). Other mitigation protocols—including increased cleaning and air-sanitizing procedures, physical barriers in high-traffic areas, temperature kiosks, touchless water-filling stations, and one-time-use mask dispensers in buildings—will continue to be in place for the fall semester. The change in class schedule for the fall semester (announced in July) also allows more time between classes for cleaning and for entrance and egress to and from buildings and classrooms.

At this time, social distancing will not be required in indoor settings.

Masking will not be required when individuals are alone in private spaces, but masks should be worn in private spaces during meetings with others.

These updated decisions are based on several factors, including the following:

While IUP is not legally permitted to require COVID-19 vaccinations, it has joined the State System of Higher Education Board of Governors, the chancellor, and the State System university presidents to encourage all people, in consultation with their health-care providers, to get vaccinated. Free COVID-19 vaccines are available for students at the IUP Health Service, effective immediately. Vaccinations should be scheduled in advance through the IUP Health Service website or by telephone at 724-357-2550.

Other mitigation measures continuing for the fall semester:

  • Distribution of safety kits, which include reusable masks, to students and departments. (Please note that safety kits distributed this past weekend include outdated information about masking. The information in this email supersedes the information on the flier in the kits.)
  • The IUP Health Service will provide free COVID-19 testing for students (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) starting August 23. Information about how to sign up for asymptomatic testing will be posted on the Campus Health and Safety web page. There also are a number of free testing sites in the community available to students.
  • IUP will monitor COVID-19 test results and will notify close contacts of individuals who test positive for the coronavirus. The IUP Health Service will provide instructions and additional testing to these identified close contacts
  • On-campus residence hall space will be provided to students who are positive for COVID-19 or who are presumed positive and have been advised to self-isolate.
  • Information about COVID-19 positive cases will be shared on the COVID-19 dashboard. Updates for the fall semester will begin August 27.
  • IUP will continue to follow guidelines from the NCAA about requirements for student-athletes and for practices and competitions.
  • Signage with this updated information will be posted at building entrances.

Information on upcoming events will be announced as decisions are finalized. At this time, no events have been canceled or postponed.

New information will continue to be provided on the COVID-19 Response Plan web page. Emails with updates will also be sent to students and employees from university-notifications@iup.edu.

The IUP community has done an outstanding job following COVID-19 guidelines. Thank you for your continued efforts to keep the IUP community safe and well.