Sent on behalf of the Continuity of Operations Task Force

EVMS has followed CDC guidelines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the CDC changed its guidelines for wearing masks in indoor settings.

As part of the change, the CDC is dropping its recommendation for masking in indoor settings. Masking is now recommended only in communities at a high level of risk.

Consequently, EVMS is dropping its requirements for mandatory indoor masking effective March 1, 2022.

Exceptions to this change include all EVMS Medical Group departments, classrooms and the testing center, where students and faculty are often required to be in close proximity for extended periods. Masks for staff, learners and patients will continue to be required in these areas for the time being, and we will reevaluate in the coming months. Clinical staff working at off-site locations should adhere to the policies and procedures of the facilities where they are working.

Individuals who want to continue to wear a mask for any reason are free to do so. COVID-19 is still active in the region and people should wear face coverings if they are more comfortable or if they are personally at higher risk.

Social distancing should continue to be observed as much as is practical and is recommended for individuals not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines or those at higher risk of getting sick with COVID-19. Elevators remain subject to a two-rider limit.

All approved social activities scheduled after March 1 may be conducted following the new guidance.

As always, if you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home, contact your supervisor or program director per normal call out procedures, and follow the protocols described in the What Should I Do? section on the EVMS website. Regardless of local conditions, you may be required to wear a mask following an active case of COVID-19 or an exposure in accordance with Occupational and Student Health protocols.

Finally, students, residents, fellows and employees in clinical settings must follow the guidelines established by the EVMS Medical Group or the organizations that govern those clinical settings.

As in the past, these guidelines could change based on future conditions. EVMS will continue to follow the relevant CDC guidelines.