Masking Requirements Lifted in Most Campus Settings Starting Friday

RSO leaders are not allowed to require masks at meetings and events or to verify vaccination or COVID-19 test results without adviser permission, according to a separate email.


By Basil Egli

Starting Friday, March 4, masks have become optional on campus, including in residence halls, dining halls, libraries, and gyms, according to an email sent to the University community Wednesday, March 2, by Executive Vice President of the University Katie Callow-Wright.

Recognized Student Organization (RSO) leaders also received an email stating that they would not be allowed to require masking at any RSO meetings or events as of March 4, a policy that applies to “units, individuals and organizers of meetings or events.” Furthermore, RSOs wishing to verify vaccination or COVID-19 test results from non-University visitors will have to ask for permission to do so from their RSO adviser.

The changes do not apply to classrooms or instructional laboratory spaces, which will require masking through the end of winter quarter on March 19. The University stated that it will communicate any further changes to its classroom masking policy before spring quarter, which begins on March 28.

UChicago shuttles and buses will also require masking in adherence with local and federal guidelines for public transportation. COVID-19 testing sites, Student Wellness facilities, and live theater performances may also require masking depending on city, state, or union policies.

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and been released from isolation housing will be required to wear a mask until the 10th day after their initial exposure. People exposed to COVID-19 will also have to mask themselves for 10 days after their last contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19.

UChicago Medicine is set to maintain its own masking policy, while the Lab Schools and UChicago Charter School have yet to announce changes to their masking policies.

Unvaccinated or unboosted individuals are still strongly encouraged by the University to continue masking while inside University facilities.

In addition to these changes, students living in residence halls will be allowed to use community kitchens. The University also removed its campus-wide restrictions for non-instructional gatherings.

From February 25 to March 3, UChicago reported 36 new cases and 120 close contacts, according to a UChicago Forward email sent to the campus community March 4. Ten students are currently isolating on campus, and four are isolating off campus. Surveillance testing found 15 positive cases, for a 1.24 percent positivity rate. The City of Chicago’s seven-day positivity rate decreased to 1 percent from the 1.3 percent reported the prior week.

Additionally, with spring break beginning March 19, the update included information for students traveling abroad, including a recommendation that they get tested before and immediately after traveling. Tests can be scheduled through the my.WellnessPortal.