UAB plans to keep indoor masking through 2021

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wear your mask illo streamUAB’s safety protocols are proving largely effective. For the week of Oct. 18-24, UAB  — with a 90% vaccination rate among employees and around 70% of students vaccinated — experienced the lowest number of COVID cases this semester among students, as well as clinical and non-clinical faculty and staff.

To promote continued improvements and safety, UAB plans to continue to require masking indoors until the end of the calendar year while it monitors changes in viral transmission and consults with public health and infectious disease experts. 

“We continue to monitor many data points to assess community safety,” said Sarah Nafziger, M.D., vice president for Clinical Support Services for UAB Medicine and Employee Health director. “These include transmission rates for Jefferson County reported by public health agencies, case and vaccination rates among members of the campus community plus hospitalizations and other factors.”

If viral transmission continues to decline in the community and vaccinations continue to climb, university officials hope to start 2022 without masks in non-clinical settings, consistent with requirements articulated in President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14042 and other applicable state or municipal regulations. Clinical buildings are expected to continue to require masks to remain in compliance with federal regulatory requirements.  

“I sincerely thank every member of the UAB community who has followed safety strategies so we can have a productive semester,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts, M.D. “We hope to relax restrictions in 2022, but we’re not quite there yet. I encourage everyone who hasn’t yet received a COVID vaccine to get one as soon as possible so we can safety and confidently move closer to normal on campus.”

Any changes in UAB’s masking policy will be announced in The eReporter and GreenMail and posted on

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