LA PLATA, Md. – The College of Southern (CSM) will lift the indoor mask requirement on all campuses and implement a Mask Optional policy March 8. This move is in line with guidance recently issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Governor Hogan, and state and county health departments. The lifting of indoor mask requirements at the county, state and national levels follows significant declines in COVID-19 health metrics.
CSM’s practice since the beginning of the pandemic has been to closely follow CDC, state, and local health guidance. It has also been the college’s practice to make changes to its COVID-19 related policies at semester or term breaks. With these factors in mind, CSM’s Mask Optional policy is as follows:
- The Mask Optional policy begins at the end of the first spring term Tuesday, March 8.
- Masks should be worn by anyone who has recently tested positive*, has symptoms of COVID-19 or has recently been exposed to someone with the virus.
- Masks may continue to be required in some off-campus instructional locations like heath care facilities and other specialized instructional sites.
- It is recommended that individuals who are not fully vaccinated continue wearing a mask while indoors.
- It is recommended that individuals who are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease continue wearing a mask while indoors.
- Masks will be optional in classrooms, meeting rooms, offices, conference spaces, and at athletic events.
These updated protocols are subject to change as conditions warrant. If COVID-19 health metrics severely worsen in our local community mask requirements may need to be readopted.
Maintaining a safe learning and working environment is part of our college community’s social contract. The lifting of the indoor mask requirement is possible in large part due to the success of the college’s vaccination requirement. While the positivity rate, case rate, hospitalizations and other health metrics continue to improve, it is important for the CSM community to remain vigilant. Layered prevention strategies – such as COVID-19 vaccinations, screening testing, physical distancing and wearing masks – can help keep the COVID-19 infection rate low.
* For additional information, visit https://www.csmd.edu/ready/covid-19/index.html