American University to reinstate COVID mask mandate
American University announced that it will reinstate a COVID-19 mask mandate starting Tuesday following a rise in cases in the Washington, D.C., area.
School administrators told students Monday via email that masks will be mandatory in all campus buildings, campus paper The Eagle reported.
Those alone in private offices, roommates together in residence halls, or people actively consuming food may remove their masks.
Faculty can take off their masks when teaching if they are at least three feet away from the students in class.
Community members are required to wear "well-fitting, high-quality masks such as N95s or KN95s" in all buildings at American University.
The school is providing free KN95 masks, administrator Fanta Aw said.
Masks became optional at American University less than a month ago on March 21. With more than 14,000 students, the school has seen 835 COVID cases since the start of the spring semester, according to The Eagle.
Aw, vice president for undergraduate enrollment, campus life, and inclusive excellence, encouraged students to wear masks during off-campus social events as well.
She also urged students to get a COVID-19 booster.
The school will reconsider its mask mandate by May 9.