William & Mary relaxes mask restrictions outdoors as student COVID-19 cases decline

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Posted at 12:01 PM, Sep 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-25 12:02:44-04

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The College of William & Mary is relaxing some of its COVID-19 protocols as active student cases decline and active employee cases continue to be in the single digits.

Effective Tuesday, September 21, William & Mary will move to "masks optional" outdoors. According to a release from the school, this guidance also applies to events like Family Weekend, Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.

Masks are still required indoors except when eating or drinking.

Dining halls reopened as of Thursday, September 23. According to Amy Sebring, the chief operating officer and COVID-19 director for the college, students are recommended to consistently eat with the same small group of friends and to eat outside if the weather permits.

Sebring said the college's student vaccination levels will reach 98% by the end of the month, and employee levels will be roughly 95%.

"As we settle into the semester, I want to underscore that we have a shared responsibility to make smart decisions that protect our health and the health of those around us," Sebring said. "I am encouraged by the rapid response of the W&M community over the past two weeks, and yet I also recognize that we will likely see periods of higher case rates throughout this academic year.

"We will continue to assess the public health conditions and modify operations as needed to respond. I anticipate providing routine updates to the campus each Tuesday unless conditions necessitate a more immediate response."