The University of Wisconsin announced campus policies for events, face coverings and outdoor physical distancing will be updated and effective June 2.
According to the announcement, fully vaccinated people will no longer be required to wear face coverings in most indoor spaces on campus. Unvaccinated people, however, should continue to wear face coverings indoors. Masks are not required outdoors.
Additionally, there will be no limit on the size of outdoor university-affiliated events on or off-campus though the size of indoor events will be limited to ensure all those attending can keep at least 6 feet apart. Physical distancing will still be maintained indoors but not outdoors, according to the new guidelines.
Badger Badges will still be used in some classroom settings, though professors must complete a training and registration form to require all participants to have one.
The decision to loosen guidelines is based on the proven safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Dane County leads the state of Wisconsin in vaccination rates, where over 60% of residents have at least one dose.
Currently, the positivity rate in Dane County is 1.2%, according to the Public Health Madison & Dane County COVID Dashboard. This number has decreased significantly from the 8.3% positivity rate in early Nov. 2020.
Despite these advances, there are still uncertainties. UW discourages students and staff from asking others for their vaccine status and does not allow professors to require masks in the classroom. There is no requirement to disclose whether an individual is vaccinated or not.
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These new rules follow Public Health Madison & Dane County’s recent announcement to lift all COVID-19 public health orders, including mask requirements and gathering and capacity limits.