In an email to the University of Oklahoma community, the university's Chief COVID Officer, Dr. Dale Bratzler of OU Medicine, announced a mandatory mask-wearing policy for all OU facilities across all of the school's campuses.
"Our return to in-person operations as a university community does not mean a return to normal. It does mean adjusting our practices," Bratzler writes. "In Oklahoma in recent days, we have seen a substantial increase in new cases, and as such, we are introducing a new policy that aims to mitigate spread of the virus. Please note that with every new policy and practice, we are keeping the safety, health, and welfare of each one of our community members in mind."
"Effective immediately, and until further notice, OU will subscribe to a university-wide masking policy, which applies to faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors across all three campuses," the email continues.
"Mask-wearing alone is shown to reduce the spread of the virus by 85%," Bratzler writes. "We have a tremendous opportunity to take personal responsibility to do those things that we know to be highly effective at preventing person-to-person transmission of the virus – wearing a mask, observing physical distancing of at least 6 feet between individuals, and practicing good hand hygiene."
The letter concludes: "All of us should take pride in knowing that we are helping reduce transmission through this practice. Please encourage all those you see not wearing masks to wear a mask for others so that together, we can slow the spread."
OU has posted the policy in full here.