Dear UW-Green Bay Students, Faculty, and Staff,
The mask mandate we have in place for UW-Green Bay’s COVID response expires at the end of February. Due to the rapid downward trajectory of COVID cases and hospitalizations in our region, UW-Green Bay will end its mask mandate on March 1. This decision applies to masking only; all other COVID protocols regarding quarantining, isolation, and staying home if you are sick remain in place at this time.
I do not come to this decision lightly. I have visited with faculty, staff, and student governance to consult on the issue. We enter this new phase of the pandemic in step with all public school districts in our region, the support of the UW System, and the knowledge that every county in Wisconsin intends to lift their mask mandate by March 1.
I ask the following things as we approach and move past March 1:
- The mask mandate is still in place until March 1 and should be followed. We need to allow the numbers to continue to come down to ensure we do not jeopardize the direction we are headed in for the near future.
- I beg you to continue to have compassion for each other. This spirit is who we are as Phoenix. There are still people who are at significant risk if they contract COVID. If someone that is required to be around you asks you to wear a mask in their presence, I ask that you do your best to honor their wishes. Today’s decision does not ban masks, but allows for personal choices to be made regarding the precautions each of us will take moving forward.
- If the trajectory of the pandemic changes, we will reconsider our protocols, just as we have done throughout the last few years.
I know not everyone will agree with this decision. However, at every moment over the last two years we have listened to all opinions regarding our COVID protocols and tried to do what is right by UW-Green Bay. As an institution, I believe this is the right step to take at this time.