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With exceptions, masks will no longer be required on UND campus starting Monday

In a letter to the campus community Wednesday, March 23, Armacost wrote that UND has tied its pandemic mitigation strategies to local risks of infection, and capacity at Altru Hospital.

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GRAND FORKS – Beginning on Monday, March 28, masking will no longer be mandatory on most areas of the UND campus, according to a message from President Andrew Armacost.

The university is still recommending people wear masks, but they will no longer be required in classrooms on Monday, though there may be some exceptions. The relaxed rules come almost one month after Armacost lifted the mandate to wear masks in indoor public spaces on campus.

In a letter to the campus community Wednesday, March 23, Armacost wrote that UND has tied its pandemic mitigation strategies to local risks of infection, and capacity at Altru Hospital. For the last two weeks, the Grand Forks County Department of Health’s County COVID-19 Dashboard has listed Grand Forks County as being in the “green,” or low risk category, due to low, county-wide COVID-19 numbers.

“This is good news, and because of our low numbers, UND will further relax its masking policy. As of Monday, March 28, masks are recommended but not required,” Armacost wrote.

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Out of concern for high-risk individuals on campus, the new mask rule has a few exceptions:

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  • Faculty members have the option to require masks within their individual classroom until the conclusion of the spring 2022 semester.
  • Masks are required at Student Health Services, COVID-19 testing sites, and programs with clinical requirements that place students or faculty members in contact with vulnerable patients. These areas may adopt additional mask requirements.

Coronavirus testing will continue at the Pollard Athletic Center and other locations, though testing will not take place at Wilkerson Commons during Easter weekend, from April 15-18. All testing at Wilkerson Commons is set to end on April 29. Free home testing kits are available at numerous locations on campus, which are listed on UND’s website.

Students, faculty and staff are still required to report if they test positive for the illness, or are identified as a close contact, through the last day of spring classes on Thursday, May 5. After that date, reporting will no longer be necessary. Faculty will receive information on potential classroom exposures through Friday, May 6.

Armacost directed students and UND employees to work with their advisors and supervisors should they test positive, or be identified as a close contact. He also reiterated his request to be respectful about masking, when speaking with people:

“As always, if you are working with or speaking with another person and they ask you to wear a mask, please do so as a matter of courtesy and respect,” Armacost wrote.

Changes have also been made to UND’s voucher program for students who test for the coronavirus. Students can receive a $10 voucher for use at on-campus dining locations. More information is available on the university’s COVID-19 website.

UND enacted its mask policy on Aug. 23, 2021, when coronavirus cases spiked in the region. At that time, masks were required in most cases in buildings on campus, though they were only recommended in residence halls, campus apartments and at the Wellness Center and athletic facilities.

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