- Masks are required indoors in public spaces for both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, including in classrooms, shared offices, laboratories, meeting spaces and fitness areas, as well as on buses. (Surgical, KN-95, or KF-94 masks are encouraged when possible.)
- Masks are also encouraged for indoor off-campus gatherings.
- Outdoors, masks are not required but are strongly encouraged in settings where social distancing between individuals or family groups is not possible.
- Organizers of outdoor events have the latitude to require masks at their outdoor events, recognizing that venue size and density may be factors.
- Eating during the course of an indoor meeting, event or gathering is now permitted ONLY during a non-essential portion; read more >
- For any social interactions, even in outdoor settings, be mindful of social distancing and consider wearing a face mask for additional mitigation of transmission.
- Masks may be removed when people are alone in any space.
- Masks may be removed while dining in designated dining areas (if in-person dining is occurring).
- Roommates and suitemates are not required to wear masks in their private rooms but all students living in the residence halls should wear a mask in hallways and other common areas.
- Face coverings should be worn over your mouth and nose.
- A face shield is NOT an appropriate substitute for a face covering/mask (read more under "Other Types of Face Protection.")
The emergence of the more contagious Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19, and evidence that vaccinated people infected with this variant can spread the virus to others, has led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to update its mask guidance. We have updated our masking policy in response to this change from the CDC.
We will continue to monitor data and guidance from the CDC and other public health sources, especially as it relates to data on new variants. We will also continue to monitor local transmission rates in Northampton County, as the CDC has advised, and on campus and in South Bethlehem. In addition, we continue to strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Even with this new information, the data continue to show that full vaccination is our best course of defense against serious illness from COVID and the threat of new variants.