Mask Policy

Effective March 12, 2022, masks may be worn but are no longer required inside university buildings. Masks are  required when visiting the University Club COVID-19 test site and other clinical spaces on campus, including University Health Services.

Please check UW–Madison Transportation Services and Madison Metro for current mask requirements for public transportation, including campus buses.

You should wear a mask for 10 days following a positive COVID-19 test and for 10 days following an exposure to someone with COVID-19.

Can an instructor require face masks in the classroom? 

Instructors may recommend, but may not require, students to wear masks in instructional settings. Instructors may not reward or penalize students for whether or not they choose to wear a mask.

If cases rise again, will campus bring back the mask requirement?

As we’ve done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to evaluate local, state and national public health guidance to determine if further changes to campus policies are appropriate.

Can I continue wearing a mask?

Yes. The university will continue to provide free masks for those who choose to wear them.

If a student or employee is not wearing a mask and I would like them to, are there any actions I can take?

You may ask a student or employee to voluntarily put on a mask. However, you cannot require a student or employee to wear a mask and must respect individuals’ decisions as to whether or not they choose to wear a mask.

Suggested language:

“I am choosing to wear a mask as another layer of protection against COVID-19 infection. And while I cannot require you to wear a mask, would you be willing to wear one while in this classroom/lab/office, as well? Of course, this is your choice, and there will be no consequences if you choose not to, but I appreciate your consideration as it would make me feel more comfortable.”

I’m not comfortable being around unmasked people. What can I do?

At this stage in the pandemic, our country is transitioning from public health orders and mandates to encouragement in using personal health tools. Our experience since 2020 has shown that regardless of what others do, you can receive strong protection against the more serious effects of COVID-19 by being vaccinated and boosted, as well as wearing a high-quality, well-fitting mask. Wearing a mask also protects against other upper respiratory viruses.

You may continue to wear a mask if you feel more comfortable doing so. If you have specific concerns related to a disability, please talk to your Divisional Disability Representative (employees) or the McBurney Disability Resource Center (students).

I am experiencing pressure to wear a mask even though the space I am in does not require it. What can I do?

You may share this information: While students and employees may be asked to wear a mask, they may not be required to do so (except on buses and in health care/clinical, child care and food preparation settings) and individuals’ decisions about whether or not to wear a mask must be respected.

I’m immunocompromised / have a medical condition and am concerned about being around unmasked people. What are my options?

You may continue to wear a mask if you feel more comfortable doing so. If you have specific concerns related to a disability, please connect with the McBurney Disability Resource Center (students) or your Divisional Disability Representative (employees).

A student is concerned about attending in-person classes if classmates are not masked. Can other students be required to wear masks?

No. If a student has specific concerns related to a disability, please refer them to the McBurney Disability Resource Center. All disability-related accommodation requests, including for remote access to class materials and activities, are evaluated based on an individualized review of the person’s disability and the specific circumstances of the course in question.

Can an instructor move their class online due to the phaseout of the mask requirement?

No. Classes should continue to be taught in the modality listed in the official schedule of classes at the beginning of the semester.

Disability-related requests from instructors and students, including for remote access to class materials and activities, are evaluated based on the specific circumstances of the individual making the request and the course in question. If you have specific concerns related to a disability, please connect with the McBurney Disability Resource Center (students) or your Divisional Disability Representative (employees).

We have a public event planned for after March 11, and we have already sent out communications indicating that masks are required. What should we do?

You should communicate that the campus masking requirement is no longer in place but that attendees may wear masks if they wish.