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With masks now optional, some guidance to keep in mind

Published: May 21, 2021 9:07 am

Earlier this week, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State University System, UF announced that masks would be optional for students, faculty, staff and visitors to UF facilities and property, effective immediately. Below are a few considerations and answers to questions you may have as we begin to make this transition as a community.

  • Importantly, respect everyone’s privacy and choice. While you may be excited to be vaccinated and eager to remove your mask while meeting face-to-face with others, it’s not okay to ask your colleagues, employees you supervise or students if they have been vaccinated. If someone does ask about your vaccination status, you are under no obligation to respond.
  • Although it is not required, those who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to continue to follow current physical distancing practices. Beginning with the Summer B semester, meeting size and physical distancing will return to pre-pandemic standards.
  • Show flexibility and kindness to others as we move through this transition period. We’ve been wearing masks for more than a year, and some may feel more cautious about removing their masks or be on a different point in their path or decision to get vaccinated than others. In the meantime, offering opportunities for flexible meetings, via Zoom and in-person, can help us ease into the way things were pre-pandemic.
  • Remember it’s best practice to wait the full two weeks post-vaccine before de-masking. In general, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks following your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • Some areas will continue to require or strongly encourage masks. Within UF Health hospitals and other patient-facing clinical areas, masks will continue to be required. Because CDC guidelines continue to recommend masks in preschool and K-12 school settings, where the majority are still unvaccinated, masks are strongly encouraged in indoor settings on the PK Yonge and Baby Gator Child Development Center campuses.
  • UF Facilities Services staff began removing building entrance and other signage this week. Please be patient as staff make their way through buildings to remove signs that indicate masking requirements.
  • Visit the CDC website for the latest guidance. For the latest guidance on what’s safe to do both outdoors and indoors, check out this guide to Choosing Safer Activities.

For information and updates, please continue to monitor UF’s Coronavirus website. If you have questions, please email reopen@ufl.edu. More information about vaccinations may be found on the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect website.

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