Education

University of Alaska and Alaska Pacific University campuses are requiring masks indoors

Alaska Pacific University and all University of Alaska campuses — including the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Southeast — are requiring face masks indoors.

“Because the delta variant spreads easily, it has become clear that we need to return to universal face masking in order to minimize the potential for the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses,” interim UA president Pat Pitney wrote in a July 30 message.

Masks will be required at all UAA facilities, including classrooms, enclosed rooms and university vehicles, the university’s mask policy says.

Everyone on APU’s campus is required to wear masks in indoor public and common spaces, including classrooms, gyms, conference rooms and lobbies, APU acting president Hilton Hallock said in a July 28 message.

Hallock said that certain activities, such as off-campus trips, will require participants to be vaccinated from COVID-19.

“Getting vaccinated will contain the spread of the virus and enable you to participate more fully in campus activities,” Hallock wrote. “APU has been fortunate that we have not had any community transmission of COVID-19 to date.”

Vaccinations are not required but have been strongly encouraged by administrations at all universities.

Vaccinated students, staff, faculty and visitors still have to wear a masks indoors at UA campuses and at APU, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

Masks will not be required at UAA or at APU when someone is alone in an office with the door closed, or in a private on-campus residential unit.

Besides masking, APU and UAA’s common areas, public restrooms, classrooms and offices will be disinfected regularly. Hand sanitizer will be readily available.

Around 400 students are planning to live in UAA’s residence halls this fall, Ryan Hill, director of UAA’s residence life said. All will be required to be fully-vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the university’s website.

The policy doesn’t apply to all UAA students, just those living in residential housing, UAA’s director of public relations Kirstin Olmstead said in an email.

Students can request a waiver to the requirement.

APU is not requiring the roughly 70 students living on-campus to be fully-vaccinated, Elias Rojas, a spokesperson with the university said, but are “continuing to monitor local conditions.”

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium will offer a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at APU on Aug. 26. UAA’s students and employees can schedule an appointment to get their vaccine at the Student Health and Counseling Center.

Classes start on Aug. 23 for UAA students. The university is offering in-person classes, with a combination of fully online and hybrid classes.

The same goes for APU, which will continue offering online, hybrid and in-person courses. Module one also begins on Aug. 23.

Sponsored