University of Florida students and staffers now have to mask up indoors at all times – even if they’re fully vaccinated.
The school announced its decision Friday, urging people to get vaccinated as cases of the coronavirus soar in the Sunshine State and elsewhere because of the Delta variant.
“Our individual decisions matter greatly in this fight to end this global health crisis,” said a letter signed by the school’s top administrators.
“Anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated assumes a significant risk of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others.
“As previously communicated, UF cannot be responsible for that risk, given the ready availability of vaccine, and cannot modify the operation of the entire university for a minority of people who may choose not to be vaccinated,” the statement added.
One third of all new virus cases in the country have come out of Florida and Texas, states whose governors have pushed back against mask mandates. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he wouldn’t back a mask mandate for K-12 schools in the state.
The University of Florida’s mask rule, which was effective immediately, applies to students, faculty and staff, as well as vendors and visitors, according to the letter.
“Recent studies and guidance from the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) state that both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals can transmit the current COVID-19 variant to unvaccinated persons,” the statement said.
The letter tells students to get at least one shot of one of the coronavirus vaccines by Aug. 22.
“Our UF Health experts tell us that even if you’ve had COVID-19, you still need to get vaccinated,” the letter states. “Having had COVID does not provide nearly as much protection as the vaccine.”
College campuses are becoming the latest battleground in the debate over vaccination requirements, and a George Mason University law professor sued his Virginia school this week, saying he shouldn’t have to get jabbed because he has built a “robust natural immunity” to COVID.
George Mason University wouldn’t comment on the litigation but said in a statement provided to The Post that it stood by its decisions to “protect its community against COVID-19” using available data and guidance from health agencies.
“Based on this information and guidance, we believe that the steps we are taking will best protect the health and safety of the Mason community and allow the Mason community to engage in a vibrant in-person campus experience,” the statement said.