Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
Yesterday, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34 relating to the opening of Texas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As it relates to public health conditions in Austin, Travis County, Texas, the governor’s order provides, in relevant part, that “there are no COVID-19-related operating limitations for any business or other establishment; and individual are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household, but no person may be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering.”
However, the governor’s order also provides that “Nothing in this executive order precludes businesses or other establishments from requiring employees or customers to follow additional hygiene measures, including the wearing of a face covering.”
I write to affirm that the policy of Seminary of the Southwest relating to the wearing of a face mask remains unaltered at this time:
Facial Masks are Mandatory When You are on Campus
Wearing a properly fitted facial mask at all times when inside seminary buildings is mandatory, except when alone in a private office with the door closed, eating in a campus dining facility while socially distanced, or when inside a student housing unit. Wearing a facial mask when outdoors on campus is likewise required when in close proximity to others or as otherwise required by a state or local executive order. An exception to this policy may be granted by the executive vice president upon application in writing based on a medical condition precluding the wearing of a face mask.
Everyone is responsible for providing and wearing their own facial mask. A limited supply of paper and cloth masks is available at sanitation stations situated near main entrances to campus facilities and classroom entrances.
In affirming the seminary’s mandatory face mask wearing policy, the dean’s administration expresses no opinion, political or otherwise, on the governor’s executive order issued March 2, 2021. The seminary’s policy is solely intended to preserve the health and safety of all members of this community by allowing additional hygiene measures, including the mandatory wearing of a face covering while on campus.
Please be in touch with any questions.
FREDERICK L. CLEMENT
Executive Vice President & CFO