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WU recommends, but does not require double masking

Nat Felten

Staff writer

Double masking is recommended by Willamette, but not required. Art by Anushka Srivastav.

With Marion County still in the Oregon Health Authority’s [extreme risk] category and in-person classes set to resume on campus after the ice storm, proper mask use remains a vital measure against COVID-19 in the community. In recent [updates], Willamette University has recommended that students double up on masks while on campus. The Reopening Operations Committee (ROC) clarified the campus policy through email, saying: “Willamette’s mask policy has not changed since the Fall… Willamette’s current mask policy requires individuals wear one mask (cloth or disposable).”

Regarding the new masking [recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)], the ROC said that: “Doubling your mask is a good approach to protecting against COVID-19 and the new variants that continue to travel through the state and nation. Importantly however, these are recommendations, not requirements, as they are difficult to enforce. It is often not obvious if a person is wearing two masks, or one mask with a filter just by looking at them.”

The ROC encouraged students to invest in several [rewashable cloth masks], which can also be doubled with a surgical mask or a 2.5 micron filter per WU recommendation. However, neck gaiters do not count as an acceptable mask on campus. The ROC said, “Willamette is not making specific mask recommendations, as fit and need vary significantly by person and circumstances.” Students, faculty and staff can obtain disposable masks at the Service Center in the University Services Building on Ferry St., in the Student Affairs offices on the second and third floors of the University Center or the circulation desk at Mark O. Hatfield Library.

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