Masking remains optional in UAB’s non-clinical buildings

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Close-up of a homemade fabric face mask, to be used during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) pandemic, on a black background, April 2020.UAB public health and infectious disease experts continue to support the university’s mask-optional policy in non-clinical buildings.

“Despite higher positive cases in the community, the number of COVID-positive patients in UAB Hospital remains low,” said Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., director of the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases in the Heersink School of Medicine. “Of those hospitalized, fewer are ending up in intensive care, and very few require ventilation. We continue to monitor the virus, its severity and rates of transmission, including hyper-local factors.”

Positive cases among UAB employees and students have remained steady over the last month in spite of increases pushing Jefferson County into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID Data Tracker’s ORANGE (high community level) category.

UAB experts remain optimistic about safety on campus given factors including high vaccination rates and the availability of treatments like Paxlovid and monoclonal antibodies.

UAB students and employees remain eligible to receive free vaccinations and boosters. COVID tests — including free at-home tests — are widely available, and UAB still offers testing to students and employees.

“We are encouraged by the effectiveness of the tools we now have to drastically decrease the threat of severe disease,” said Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., UAB School of Public Health professor and epidemiologist. “We will continue to watch closely and discuss the best strategies for our campus.”

Some people remain at an increased risk of complications from COVID and may choose to wear a mask for an added layer of protection for themselves or others. Members of the campus community are encouraged to respect the decisions others make and be considerate of others in keeping with our Shared Values.

Continue to look for updates in the eReporter. Any changes in pandemic-related procedures also will be posted online at