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COVID-19 Updates: CDC Mask Guidance, Updates on Vaccine & Quarantine

Feb. 16, 2021

Dear SLU community members,

Last Wednesday, the CDC reinforced the importance and effectiveness of wearing face masks to reduce COVID-19 transmission. They also provided more practical information about selecting face masks based on types, fit and filtration

CDC researchers also reported that wearing two masks (a face mask on top of a surgical mask) can provide more disease-prevention protection than wearing a single loose-fitting face mask, a mask made of a single layer of material, or a mask without a filter. 

But the CDC acknowledged how cumbersome double-masking may be for some people. The agency is not requiring people to wear two masks simultaneously. They advise wearing a mask that:

University policy will continue to require that students, staff, faculty and visitors properly wear a face mask while on our campus. That is city public health policy as well.

Students, staff, faculty and visitors are free to wear two masks on our campus, if they prefer. Though some may feel more comfortable doing so, double-masking is not required at SLU.

Quarantine Updates

In other CDC news, federal health officials said people who are fully vaccinated in the last 90 days are no longer required to be quarantined if they have had close contact with a COVID-19-positive person. “Fully vaccinated” means being two weeks past your second vaccine dose.

The University is revising its practices accordingly. Here’s what this means for students:

Please keep wearing your masks. Stay at least 6 feet away from one another. Avoid crowds (even smaller ones). Check your symptoms using #CampusClear. Practice regular hand hygiene. Mask-up to socialize after eating.

Two weeks down. Fourteen weeks to go. We can do this.

Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC
Special Assistant to the President
Director, Institute for Biosecurity
Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
College for Public Health & Social Justice