UMass Boston announced Friday it will reinstate its indoor mask requirement, requiring students to wear masks in all indoor settings starting Jan. 9.
The university decided to reinstate the policy because of rising COVID positivity and hospitalization rates, as well as the rise of a new subvariant called XBB, according to the announcement from Robert Pomales, executive director of University Health Services, and Marie Bowen, vice chancellor for Human Resources.
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, Suffolk County, which includes Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, has moved into high risk for COVID-19. The CDC recommends individuals to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
“While on-campus transmission has remained low and our very highly vaccinated population continues to have strong protection against severe disease, we nonetheless will continue to follow the CDC guidance,” Pomales and Bowen wrote.
UMass Boston’s mask requirement will also require students and faculty to wear masks in crowded outdoor setting.
The university will continue to provide COVID tests as well as masks to students.