UNMC easing COVID-19 safety precautions

March 21, 2022

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Beginning today (March 21), UNMC is updating its COVID-19 guidance in response to lower COVID-19 transmission in the community.

While the challenges are not over, current data allows UNMC to ease some of its COVID-19 safety precautions. UNMC will continue to monitor local case counts and the potential impact of the BA.2 subvariant and will modify its guidance as needed.

Masks

  • Surgical masks will continue to be required for all students, staff, faculty and visitors in public, common and patient-facing areas across all UNMC campuses at all times.

    • Public and common areas include but are not limited to: Clinics, hallways, elevators, atrium spaces, bathrooms, lounges, open areas in McGoogan Library and dining areas (except while eating).
  • Surgical masks will continue to be required in patient-facing and public areas at Nebraska Medicine and other clinical partners.
  • Where appropriate social distancing is possible, masks will no longer be required in non-clinical, non-public areas, including classrooms, office spaces, break rooms, cubicles, library study rooms and conference rooms.  Appropriate social distancing is interpreted as using the socially distanced room capacity (as defined for some rooms) or 40% of the normal room capacity. Socially distanced room capacities for some rooms are available online.
  • Masks still are required for individuals who have an approved exemption to the vaccine policy. 
  • Masks may continue to be worn by individuals who are immunocompromised and/or at higher risk of severe disease, as well as those who are more comfortable masking or choose to do so for any other reason. 
  • Mask guidance for research specific activities and spaces to follow.

Gatherings

  • The capacity of the room should be considered when planning an in-person gathering. Considerations should be made for appropriate social distancing, adequate ventilation and, if possible, a virtual option for individuals who choose this option. In-person gatherings where masking is not required should adhere to the socially distanced room capacity or 40% of the normal room capacity. Socially distanced room capacities for the Omaha campus are available online.
  • Food (packaged or unpackaged) is permissible at indoor gatherings if the social distancing guidelines above are met.
  • Gatherings held off campus should follow these same guidelines.
  • Food may continue to be served at outdoor gatherings.
  • This replaces the previous pilot program for gatherings with food.

Gatherings that do not adhere to these criteria are discouraged and require an event safety plan. Events that adhere to these criteria do not require an event safety plan.

Testing

Visitors, Volunteers and Vendors

Visitors, volunteers and vendors will be allowed on the UNMC campus based on the following guidelines:

  • The host unit should escort the visitor(s) and ensure they follow all campus guidelines.
  • Masks are required for visitors, volunteers and vendors except when eating.

These guidelines will be reviewed weekly and updated based on community transmission rates, COVID hospitalizations and other factors.

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