Arizona State University to require masks in classrooms to begin spring semester
PHOENIX — Arizona State University announced Wednesday masks will be required in classrooms as part of its plan to manage the spread of COVID-19 during the spring semester.
Face coverings will be required inside all ASU classrooms, as well as university buildings where physical distancing is not possible.
“When you can’t socially distance, you need to be masked,” ASU President Michael Crow said in a video to students. “We just think that’s one additional precaution given the complexity of the institution, the density of the institution and the particular characteristics of the omicron variant.”
Students, faculty and staff will also need to take a COVID-19 test and submit it online by Friday before returning to campuses next week.
Classes begin Monday and the daily health check will once again be required before going to campus.
Faculty, staff and students are expected by the university to be vaccinated, and all employees – including student employees – should have proof of vaccination or an accommodation.
The university said free saliva-based testing is available for all students and to faculty, staff and their family members, and that vaccines and boosters would also be available to students, faculty and staff.
The policies for the upcoming spring semester come as COVID-19 cases and hospitalization soar in the state, driven by the omicron variant of the virus.
Crow added most of the present case positives at the university are the omicron variant of the virus.
ASU’s COVID-19 policies are similar to what was enacted during the fall.
The university said it would continue to provide weekly COVID-19 reports including cases, hospitalizations and vaccination numbers for faculty, staff and students.