The days of face masks are numbered at the University of Wisconsin.
The UW System on Wednesday announced campuses across the state can begin to end mask mandates on March 1.
“While we will continue to take prudent prevention measures when warranted, restrictions can be lifted as case counts drop,” UW President Tommy Thompson said in a statement.
Wisconsin’s seven-day average for new cases is down to 239 cases, and the state’s positivity rate is down to 8.9%. Both of those numbers are just about where they were at the beginning of the school year when the university ordered students to mask-up for a return to class.
“Our students have been terrific for the last two years in demonstrating a culture of responsibility,” Thompson said. “We have worked relentlessly to instill in them the need to protect themselves and those around them. Students should be able to cheer on sports teams, attend concerts and performances, and go to classes without masks when the conditions are right.”
UW-Madison, the state’s largest campus, said it will end mask mandates on March 12. Other campuses on Wednesday announced their mask mandates will end on March 11.
“That means we’re at a point where responsible behavior is up to the individual to decide,” UW-Madison said in its statement. “We recognize that individuals will have different reactions to mask requirements ending and that for some it may feel stressful. We encourage those who want to continue to wear masks to do so and we will continue to make high-quality masks available to our campus community free of charge. Please respect everyone’s individual choices about masking.”