Mask policy update at Michigan Medicine

March 10, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Effective Monday, March 14, masks will be optional for indoor spaces on U-M campuses with the exception that masks remain required in all clinical buildings or floors (including at U-M Health, University Health Service and the U-M Dental School clinical areas), classrooms and instructional spaces, U-M COVID-19 testing sites and on U-M buses.

Please note, a clinical building is any facility where a patient may arrive as part of their care — including for billing or administrative purposes.

The new masking requirement in these settings will remain in place for at least the duration of the current term.

As always, mask use is still suggested as an effective strategy for enhanced personal protection, especially for those with compromised immune status, those who are not vaccinated or up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, and anyone with a perceived increased situational risk.

This policy applies to anyone on site including all students, faculty, staff and visitors — regardless of vaccination status — on the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses as well as U-M controlled properties off campus.

Here’s what this means specifically for Michigan Medicine:

Masks are still required in all clinical buildings

If you work in a clinical building, masks are still required at all times. This includes on the main medical campus, all ambulatory care clinics and other remote facilities that patients may visit.

If you work off the main medical campus in a building that does not receive any patient traffic, the new mask policy will apply.

Updated policy for U-M Medical School, research areas

As mentioned previously, masks will remain required in all classrooms and instructional spaces at the U-M Medical School.

Masks will be optional in the medical school’s non-clinical research buildings.

For research labs in clinical buildings, masks will be optional once inside the lab itself, but required when you enter the building or leave the lab.

Human subjects will be required to follow the policies of the individual buildings they are entering.

Other important notes

Even with the new policy in place, COVID-19-positive or exposed individuals are still required to mask through Day 10 of their isolation or quarantine period.

As exceptions to the requirement stated above, instances where an individual is not required to wear a face covering are listed below. Please note, these exceptions do not apply to any clinical setting, as masks are required there at all times.

Exceptions in non-clinical settings are when an individual is:

  • under the age of 2 years old; 
  • someone who is unable to remove a face covering without assistance;
  • required to wear assigned respiratory protection for the job tasks they are performing;
  • involved in an activity, including certain types of instruction, where wearing a face covering may present an impediment to instruction or present a safety hazard provided that a risk assessment is performed and reviewed by U-M EHS; If approved for this exception, instructors must continue to maintain a physical distance of twelve feet from others.
  • communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication (in such circumstances, alternatives such as clear face coverings and other accommodations must also be explored);
  • receiving a service for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;
  • removing a face covering for brief periods to allow for photography-When utilizing this exception distancing from others remains strongly recommended.
  • asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes.