American and George Washington universities will reinstate their indoor mask mandates following a rise in coronavirus cases on campuses throughout the region.
The changes on both campuses follow short-lived mask-optional policies that offered students and professors a taste of pre-pandemic normalcy. At GWU — where officials just one week ago moved to make masks “strongly recommended” — the masking requirement will extend through the end of the semester, final exams and graduation. At least 190 people have tested positive for the virus since the campus eliminated its mandate on April 4.
AU saw a jump in cases after students returned from spring break on March 14, reporting 192 cases between then and April 3, the most recent available data shows. Officials had moved to make masks optional in classrooms, dining facilities, dorms and most other indoor spaces on March 21 before Monday’s announcement reinstating face coverings.