New COVID-19 guidance, including masking update, effective today

August 04, 2021

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The following message, detailing uodated COVID-19 guidance on campus, was sent to the UNMC community Tuesday afternoon.

Mask Guidance

Following continued regional trends in the viral transmission, hospitalization and the new CDC recommendations for face masks, UNMC is issuing new guidance for all faculty, staff and students on UNMC campuses. Beginning today, all UNMC faculty, staff, students and visitors (including contractors, service providers and others) will be required to properly wear a face mask at all times when indoors (including elevators) on a UNMC campus, with the following exceptions:

  • When eating (social distancing practices must be observed).
  • When alone in a room with a closed door.
  • In private settings on UNMC campuses (conference rooms, study rooms, break rooms and private offices), when gathering in groups of five or less, individuals who are fully vaccinated may interact without masks.
  • When in a motor vehicle alone or only with members of your household.
  • When an alternative is necessary as indicated by a medical professional during patient care.
  • When in one’s assigned place of residence or UNMC housing unit.
  • When the task requires the use of a NIOSH-approved respirator.
  • When pertaining to children under the age of 2 years.

Rise of Delta variant also requires mask policy changes at Nebraska Medicine

In all other indoor settings on campus (including private spaces and cubicles without closed doors), face masks must be used, even in situations where others remain more than 6 feet away.

Face masks are not required in outdoor settings on UNMC campuses, including walking through outdoor spaces.

Vaccines

Our current policies regarding COVID vaccination are unchanged as of this update. We are working closely with our regional health care delivery partners, who currently require formal notification of vaccination status and identification on name tags in some way. Our health care delivery system leaders meet at frequent intervals to review potential changes in vaccination requirements.

Classes

Classes for the Fall 2021 semester will proceed as planned. No changes to classroom capacity or modality is planned at this time. 

Gatherings

Effective Aug. 9, food will not be allowed at indoor on-campus gatherings. Food may continue to be served at outdoor gatherings

The limit imposed upon on-campus gatherings of our own faculty, staff and students is at 25 individuals. This limit of 25 individuals for gatherings does not apply to UNMC-sanctioned classes, didactic sessions and experiential learning activities. Exceptions to this limit can be sought by filing an event safety plan. All participants at on-campus indoor gatherings are required to wear face masks. UNMC mask mandates and distancing requirements remain in effect for all individuals attending on-campus gatherings who are NOT fully vaccinated.

University-sponsored events involving a mixture of UNMC personnel and invited guests are subject to an analogous limit (aside from official events).

Decisions to revise COVID-related restrictions further will remain scientifically based, data-driven and dependent on conditions on our campuses and in our communities. With the exception of the new measures instituted above, existing guidance pertaining to social distancing and other COVID control measures remains in effect. We will continue to provide updates at frequent intervals.