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UK's mask policies are changing tomorrow, but hold on, you might want to read the specifics first

Karyn Czar

The University of Kentucky is altering its mask rules on Wednesday, but it's not a blanket mask-optional policy.

Starting Wednesday, March 9, face coverings will be optional in the university's common areas, such as the students center, dining facilities, and residence halls. The same rule will apply for voluntary events, including concerts and theatrical performances.

But masks will remain mandatory in classrooms during classes. Faiale coverings will also stay on in private offices, conference rooms, and research labs, per the new guidance.

UK HealthCare mask policies are staying in place.

If cases continue to plummet, UK says it hopes to expand the mask optional policy throughout campus following commencement ceremonies in May — again with the exclusion of UK HealthCare.

Read more details from UK President Eli Cailouto's announcement below.

Optional Masks 

  • We will adopt an optional mask-wearing policy in common areas across campus, such as the Gatton Student Center; common areas or hallways of classroom buildings; dining halls; libraries; workout facilities; and residence halls.
  • Masks will also be optional during voluntary events, such as Campus Ruckus, concerts, theatrical performances and at athletics venues.  
  • For performing arts classes — music, dance and theatre — masks are optional during performance situations (whether lessons, labs or performances). Masks, though, must be worn in classes when not performing.

Mandatory Masks

  • Masks will remain mandatory in classrooms during classes. We will supply classrooms with masks.
  • Masks also will remain mandatory in private offices/suites and conference/meeting rooms where more than one person is gathered.
  • Masks must continue to be worn in research and classroom laboratories.
  • Health care facilities and settings are exempt from these changes. Current masking policies will remain in place in UK HealthCare settings, per UKHC policies.

Other Considerations 

  • Recognizing the variability of mask policies across the state, Cooperative Extension employees should follow the mask policies consistent with their county government policy. For 4-H programs and youth under 12, the guidelines of local public-school systems will be followed.
  • If the positive trajectory of the virus continues, our hope is to expand the mask optional policy throughout the campus — not including health-care facilities and settings — following commencement ceremonies in May.
  • We will move as quickly as possible to update COVID-related websites and signage throughout the campus to reflect this policy change.
Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.