March 4, 2024

Dear Members of the University Community and Visitors to Campus,

Based on a review of the CDC’s new three-level system, which revises guidance on indoor masking, and given that our four-county area is, as of March 3, all in the “yellow” category, the University has made a change to its masking policy.

Effective immediately, masking in indoor spaces is now optional with the following exceptions:

  • All visitors to University Health Services (UHS) must continue to wear a mask, according to its stated policies.
  • Faculty may require masks to be worn in their classes, laboratories, studios, and offices.
  • Staff members may require masks to be worn in their offices.

These exceptions are intended to protect community members at heightened risk due to their medical circumstances. Given this, we ask that everyone carry a mask at all times, so that they may put it on as necessary.

For many who are immunocompromised or who live with and care for family members who cannot be vaccinated, wearing masks provides an important form of protection. If you would like a supply of masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE) for work, please contact the Purchasing Office ( Any person may continue to wear a mask at their discretion, including in their office or classroom, and, as community members, we should respect that right.

As has been the case for the past two years, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in the local four-county area and CDC guidance, and adjust our policies, as necessary, to take into account changes in the region and evolution of the virus.

The Sewanee community has exhibited extraordinary resilience and compassion during the pandemic. Our vaccination rate is 97% among students, 98% among faculty, and 91% among staff. Be sure to reference the COVID-19 dashboard for the latest information. Your commitment to following important health measures continues to be a critical component of our ongoing success.

Thank you for continuing to live into our community values and for supporting one another. We will get through this together.


Nancy J. Berner
Acting Vice-Chancellor and President