March 4 Update to COVID-19 Masking Mitigation for Punxsutawney Regional Campus Facilities

Following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, effective today, March 4, masks/face coverings will no longer be required in IUP’s Punxsutawney Regional Campus facilities. Masks/face coverings also continue to be required on community transportation (IndiGO buses), which follow the CDC guidelines about masking on public transportation.

Following consultation with IUP’s leadership team and based on the advice of IUP’s COVID Planning Group, IUP will follow the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.  That means that effective at noon today, March 2, masks/face coverings will no longer be required in IUP’s indoor facilities and buildings, except for IUP Health Service and the IUP Counseling Center, and Punxsutawney Regional Campus facilities.  (Jefferson County, which includes Punxsutawney, is still classified as requiring masks under the Centers for Disease Control guidance.)

While we have changed our mask policy for most facilities, any visitors to individual offices or to residence hall suites and rooms must follow the preference of the persons in those offices or living areas regarding use of masks. It is my absolute expectation that every member of this university community understands, supports, and follows the request for masking in an individual’s personal space.

It is also my expectation that individual personal choice to wear a mask or face covering is supported and respected. I encourage anyone who prefers to use a mask to do so. We also are following the CDC recommendation to wear a mask if you have COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19.

Student-athletes are to continue to follow the COVID-19 policy established by the NCAA and PSAC. Students in off-site experiences should follow the guidelines of their host institution.

Community transportation (IndiGO buses) will follow the CDC guidelines about masking.

I continue to appreciate that you have demonstrated your commitment to the health and safety of the university community by following our COVID-19 mitigation policies and procedures. I know it has been frustrating for many of you.

While this decision to change our masking policy takes effect today, it is critical that you understand that this situation is an extremely fluid one. If there is a shift in the pandemic in our community, and the CDC provides updated recommendations related to face coverings or other mitigation efforts, our policies will change accordingly. The well-being of the IUP community remains our priority and our guiding principle, and new decisions will be made as needed to keep us healthy and safe.

IUP will continue to provide free masks to students, employees, and visitors. Free testing for students and vaccinations will continue to be provided to our university community at IUP Health Service. Housing and care for students who are recommended to self-isolate due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis will continue to be offered in Delaney Hall. Updates to the COVID-19 dashboard will continue on a weekly basis, along with Friday email communications to employees and students. We will continue to follow the CDC-recommended cleaning and sanitation procedures in our buildings.

While this recommendation from the CDC is a hopeful sign in our fight against COVID-19, this pandemic is not yet over. Please continue to be vigilant, take care of yourself, and support and take care of one another.

Be well.

Michael A. Driscoll