LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas State University System institutions now require everyone on campuses to wear face coverings in all indoor and outdoor settings where physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained as a key preventative measure in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The policy was adopted Wednesday by the ASU System Board of Trustees during a special teleconference meeting. The policy requires students and faculty to wear face coverings during all sessions of classroom instruction regardless of physical distancing.

“We are committed to the safety of our employees, students and visitors to campus,” ASU System President Dr. Chuck Welch says. “We think that it’s important for all of our campuses to have clear direction with this policy, and we want to reinforce our support of the strong recommendations of health officials. While we have worked to ensure physical distancing in all of our instructional settings, classroom safety must be a top priority, and we wanted to be very clear on mask expectations.”

Welch says the wearing of face masks has proven to be an effective deterrent to the spread of COVID-19. He also notes leaders at each ASU System institution have done “outstanding preparation” to welcome faculty and students back to campuses this fall.

“We’re prepared for many scenarios and lots of flexibility,” Welch says.

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