Coronavirus Information

October 28, 2021: Update on Mask Requirements Campus Email

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Thank you for your patience and persistence in following our COVID-19 guidelines and for your commitment to keeping our campus community safe and healthy this fall semester!

We are encouraged by the significant decline in community COVID-19 transmission in the State of Alabama and in Shelby County. We are especially heartened by the extremely low number of current COVID-19 cases on campus. However, with Shelby County remaining at a substantial level of community COVID-19 transmission, UM is following CDC guidance and extending its indoor mask requirements through the remainder of the fall 2021 semester.

If community spread continues to decrease and on-campus numbers remain low, the University is hopeful for a mask-optional environment in the spring.

UM’s COVID-19 Task Force will continue to diligently monitor data regarding campus and community spread to make determinations for the spring 2022 semester and reserves the right to adjust the current mask requirements should community transmission rates change significantly this fall. Any necessary updates will be posted on the Falcon Forward 2021 webpage and communicated via UM email.

The University will continue to require face coverings for all individuals in the following areas:

  • Academic buildings (regardless of social distancing)
  • Laboratories and clinics (regardless of social distancing)
  • Personal meeting spaces (such as students meeting with faculty and advisors)
  • Indoor common areas
  • Health-related service offices
  • Areas that serve children younger than 12
  • During large indoor gatherings on campus
  • Other areas marked by official University signage or otherwise clearly communicated by the University

Face masks are not required in the following situations:

  • In residence halls
  • When outdoors
  • While actively eating or drinking
  • While exercising
  • Employees alone in their private workspace or automobile
  • Faculty teaching as long as 6 feet of social distancing can be maintained

If you have not yet gotten a vaccine, it is strongly encouraged that you do so. The vaccination rate on our campus, in our county and in our state will play a major role in helping us finally bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. A list of local distribution locations can be found at Upcoming campus vaccination clinics are scheduled for Nov. 8 and Nov. 18 in the Student Activity Center.

Dr. John W. Stewart III