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University of Texas at Austin will require all students, faculty and staff to wear masks inside campus buildings

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The University of Texas at Austin will require all students, faculty and staff to wear face masks on campus next fall to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Interim Dean Jay Hartzell announced Monday.

Students and faculty may remove their face coverings in a campus building if they are alone in a private office or in their residence hall room. In an email to the UT community, Hartzell said masks would be encouraged in outdoor areas of campus. Enforcement measures will be announced later. The university is also planning to test asymptomatic individuals and routinely screen people for symptoms as they enter buildings on campus.

"This policy — which is currently in place for the summer — is consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which makes clear that face coverings, in addition to social distancing measures, are among the most effective strategies in limiting the spread of COVID-19, particularly in high-density areas," Hartzell said in the email.

Hartzell also said employee furloughs have been implemented. The university had previously announced that furloughs were imminent as the state works to tamp down costs.