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OU lifts mask, social distancing restrictions

University of Oklahoma
Posted at 3:02 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 16:02:40-04

NORMAN, Okla. — The University of Oklahoma announced Wednesday it is lifting its university-wide mask and social distancing restrictions, effective immediately.

According to the university, masks are no longer be required on all three of OU’s campuses or at campus events for fully vaccinated individuals 12 years of age and older, with limited exceptions.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we at OU have followed guidance issued by the CDC, and we will continue to do so,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “As we continue preparations for an academic year that feels much more normal, it’s a relief in many ways that the availability of vaccines, and our ability to provide them, allows us to lift our masking requirement and adjust our social distancing guidelines. This decision, like all of our COVID-19 protocols, was developed in close consultation with our medical and public health experts.”

Masking requirements will be limited to the following groups and settings:

  • All individuals in patient-facing settings, including research participant areas and facilities where patient care is the primary function
  • Unvaccinated individuals inside OU facilities
  • Guests 2-11 years of age inside OU facilities
  • Transit buses due to Department of Transportation mandates

The university said it strongly encourages the entire OU community to get vaccinated, particularly those residing in congregate housing. Anyone who wishes to mask indoors or outdoors may freely do so.

Also in accordance with CDC guidance, OU will eliminate its social distancing protocols in all areas except patient care and research participant settings. The university will use the summer to phase back to normal classroom capacities. Workspaces may immediately eliminate social distancing.

Third parties may resume hosting events in university facilities following university protocols, in accordance with CDC guidance.

“The changes to OU’s masking and social distancing polices are based on a growing body of evidence that points to the effectiveness of the vaccines, as well as Oklahoma’s record low case counts of COVID-19,” said OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler. “We will continue to proactively monitor the COVID-19 infection rate for unvaccinated individuals and are poised to make any needed shifts in policy.”

COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost on all three OU campuses. More information about vaccine distribution at OU, click here.

For more information on OU’s response to COVID-19, click here.

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