Returning to School: When to Wear Masks

The Health Team shared a post-Spring Break update with the USN community and sent this letter by email on Sunday, March 20. 
Dear USN community,

We hope that the past week has provided you with some rest and relaxation, perhaps some sunshine or even snow, maybe some visits with family and friends. The Health Team and Medical Advisory Board met Friday, March 18 primarily to discuss what the safest approach to returning to campus this week might look like. Fortunately, COVID-19 case counts in our city, state, and across most of the United States have plummeted, hopefully portending an uneventful spring. 

Our “ask” for the next week or two, in particular, is that you take a cautious approach when you consider masking for you and/or your student(s). Keep in mind that USN continues to have rapid antigen and quickly reported PCR tests available Mondays through Fridays. Testing for symptoms and/or exposure is the only real way to know if COVID is the diagnosis. Here are some guidelines to help you navigate:

Masks Required:
  • Individuals completing 10 days after a diagnosis of COVID-19 and have been cleared by the COVID Office to return to school
Masks Recommended:
  • Symptoms are present but mild (e.g., allergies), even if COVID test is negative
  • Individuals who have upcoming events that they will be upset about missing if they contract COVID
Masks Optional:
  • Individuals are completely symptom-free
Anyone with more significant signs or symptoms of illness — e.g., fever, body aches, vomiting/diarrhea — should stay home and let us know by emailing

We appreciate your consideration,

Health Team Co-Directors
Margee Brennan, M.D.
Jenn Aaron, N.P.

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