Cloth masks no longer meet UArizona face covering requirement

Jan 6, 2022, 1:15 PM | Updated: 9:50 pm
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)...
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

PHOENIX – With classes set to resume next week, cloth masks will no longer meet the University of Arizona’s face covering requirement.

The Tucson school also called off its employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the wake of a federal court injunction.

UArizona updated its COVID mitigation policy Wednesday, a week before the first day of the spring semester, to require surgical or higher-grade masks (KN95, KF94 or N99) indoors on campus when social distancing isn’t possible.

The masks must also be worn on university-provided transit, including the Cat Tran shuttle.

The policy applies to all faculty, students, staff and visitors.

Cloth masks can only be used if worn over surgical masks as way to improve fit and protection.

UArizona had planned to require employees, including student workers and graduate assistants, to provide proof of vaccination by Jan. 18 to comply with regulations governing federal contractors. However, that’s on hold after an injunction barred enforcement of the mandate.

The school is still strongly encouraging the shots and for employees to report their vaccination status.

Students and staff are also being asked to take a COVID-19 test before returning to campus or schedule an appointment for after they arrive.

The university is offering on-site testing as well as saline gargle kits that can be used to collect samples for dropping off at collection sites.

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Cloth masks no longer meet UArizona face covering requirement