An update from WashU Olin Dean Mark P. Taylor to the Olin community.
I wanted to share the following update from the university regarding masking guidance for classroom instructors. To assist Olin faculty who choose to remove their masks while teaching, we will be adding back 6 ft distance markings to the teaching areas in Olin classrooms as class schedules permit.
Thank you for your continued support as we all work together to manage the pandemic and keep our community safe.
Professor Mark P. Taylor DSc PhD
Donald Danforth, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Finance
Olin Business School
We continue to closely monitor COVID-19 conditions in the region and on campus as well as CDC and local public health guidance. With trends moving in a positive direction with the number of cases decreasing here in St. Louis and across the country, the university’s policy group has determined that we are now in the fortunate position of being able to begin to lift some of the campus restrictions that are currently in place.
Throughout the pandemic, we have required all faculty and students to remain masked while in the classroom. Effective today, Monday, February 28, the following change will go into effect:
Instructors who are fully vaccinated and able to maintain a distance of at least six feet (or more where feasible) from students have the option to remove their masks while lecturing.
Our medical experts have advised us that at this time there is an extremely low medical risk to having instructors unmasked while distanced in the classroom. Our policy group feels the benefits gained in the classroom – allowing faculty to better engage with students – far outweigh the very small amount of risk associated with this change. Students must remain masked at this time.
While this is a step in the right direction toward a return to more normal operations, it’s important to remember that this is still an evolving situation. As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, things can change quickly and we must weigh the risks and benefits of changes to all members of our University community. We will continue to monitor conditions and will respond as needed. For the time being, however, we hope this will be a welcome change that will enhance the classroom experience for our instructors and students.