May 21, 2021
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students –
Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.” And today, the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County are dropping their requirement on the wearing of face masks indoors.
We will be following their scientific conclusions and safety recommendations. Starting today, those who are fully vaccinated from COVID-19 will not be required to wear a face mask, indoors or outdoors, on our UNL campuses or in our facilities. We will also no longer require social distancing and will return to 100% capacity for all of our venues.
It is very important to note — these changes only affect those who are fully vaccinated. As Dr. Fauci stated, “It’s an assurance to those who are vaccinated that they can feel safe, be they indoors or outdoors.”
Without vaccination, an individual remains at risk for the impact of COVID-19 which can include hospitalization, long-term health impacts and death. If you have not yet been vaccinated, I would strongly encourage you to do so. Vaccines are readily available locally through the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and local pharmacies. It is far and away the best way to protect yourself. Those on our campuses who are not vaccinated are expected to continue to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
For many, this opportunity to live more freely is one of joy and relief. It’s also a moment that came sooner than some expected. It’s natural, after being vigilant for so long, that even those who are fully vaccinated may feel more comfortable continuing to wear a mask and may choose to do so. Our UNL community successfully navigated this pandemic thus far not only because of our ingenuity, hard work and flexibility, but also because of grace. We are a place where every person and every interaction matters.
As we all ease back into more pre-pandemic ways of life, work and learning, I ask you to continue to treat each other with grace and goodwill.
Ronnie D. Green, Ph.D.