TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The University of Alabama updated their COVID-19 mask policy due to the increase in COVID cases, requiring them to be worn indoors and at areas where distancing is not possible.

The new policy will go into effect on Friday and will apply to everyone regardless of vaccination status.

In the policy, these are the places that UA advises masks must be worn:

  • In classrooms and classroom buildings, regardless of distancing
  • In personal meeting spaces, such as meetings with faculty and advisors
  • When gathering in common spaces, such as the Student Center
  • On campus transportation

The following are the exceptions that UA listed in the policy:

  • Indoor areas when distanced
  • When alone in offices and private workspaces
  • In residence hall rooms
  • While eating or drinking
  • While exercising
  • Faculty teaching, if distanced and behind plexiglass

UA said that the indoor masking requirement is intended to be temporary and will be reviewed after the first two weeks of classes. Medical professionals and administrators working with the campus will continually review data and provide guidance.

“Vaccinations are the key to a successful fall semester and the key to moving beyond these types of requirements,” stated Dr. Ricky Friend, Dean of the College of Community Health Sciences, in a written statement. “Everyone is strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. Data continues to show the vaccines provide very strong protection against serious illness and hospitalization.”

The university also said that students who upload proof of vaccination will qualify for $20 in Bama Cash.

“Our vaccine numbers among faculty and staff are strong — the percentage vaccinated more than doubles the statewide number. We are still learning about the students who were vaccinated over the summer, and will be offering expanded opportunities for vaccination as classes approach. Again, vaccination is key,” Friend said in a written statement.

To review the latest UA Health information, visit this page.