For a time over the past couple of weeks the University System of Georgia was becoming more and more an exception among major university systems in not requiring face coverings for those returning to campus this fall. But no more.
“Effective July 15, 2020, University System of Georgia (USG) institutions will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible.” https://t.co/e4IeWJSpPJ— UGA (@universityofga) July 6, 2020
We’re still very early in formulating our understanding of how COVID-19 spreads and how to prevent it. But there’s a growing scientific consensus that face masks work, as long as they’re used uniformly.
Will fans in Sanford Stadium be required to wear face coverings this fall, assuming fans are in the stands this fall? I wouldn’t be surprised. With case counts increasing across much of the South, including Georgia, there’s a palpable sense that fall college football may be hanging by a thread.
If masks are perceived as one way to make it happen more safely, administrators will almost certainly require them on the way in (good luck policing it in the stands).
Another thing to keep an eye on? Could the 2020 season actually begin in the spring of 2021? There’s been growing chatter that a spring start would allow additional time for winter closures (many schools are closing campuses after Thanksgiving) to dampen campus outbreaks, and perhaps time for an effective vaccine to be developed and distributed. In the end analysis, college football has become a critical source of funding for a lot of schools. There’s every reason to think it will happen if schools can justify it.
But beyond the athletic concerns that are obviously of central concern on this site, the mask directive is likely to make students, parents, faculty, and staff feel a bit better about returning to campus. Until later....