Penn community members who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear a mask on campus in nearly all circumstances.
The policy took effect on June 11, in accordance with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's updated guidance on mask wearing for vaccinated citizens. Vaccinated community members must continue to wear masks indoors only if they live with someone in quarantine or isolation, are with children under the age of 12, are using public transportation, or are in a health care setting.
The announcement — which was emailed to students in the College of Arts and Sciences on Monday afternoon and posted on the @covidpenn Instagram earlier in the day — stressed that the University community must "continue to be vigilant for the members of our community who are unvaccinated and are at risk."
The move marks the first time in well over a year that students, faculty, and staff will not be required to wear a mask indoors at Penn, a monumental step towards Penn's plan of holding a fully in-person, on-campus fall semester.
College Dean Paul Sniegowski wrote that even though the indoor mask mandate was lifted, he advised College students to continue to carry a mask with them, as some individual offices, labs, and other spaces on campus may continue following individual rules regarding mask use.
The School of Arts and Sciences announced on June 4 that it would no longer require social distancing indoors, and that the School would no longer use PennOpen Pass to grant entry into buildings beginning July 1.
Penn first began easing its mask wearing guidelines on May 21, when the University announced it was dropping its outdoor mask mandate for vaccinated persons in accordance with the City's updated policies.
Director of Campus Health Ashlee Halbritter told The Daily Pennsylvanian on May 21 that she — along with the University as a whole — was thrilled to be in a position to lift the outdoor mask mandate for those who are fully vaccinated.
"We hope this further encourages those who have not yet been vaccinated to get their shot," Halbritter said. "The entire University should remain good Penn citizens to protect each other and our surrounding communities."