CASPER (WNE) — The University of Wyoming will continue to require masks inside most of its buildings when social distancing isn’t possible, the school announced Thursday.

The university’s board of trustees voted the same day to extend the mask rule until at least Dec. 15, when the panel will revisit the policy.

The rule first went into effect in August, around the same time students returned to campus for the fall semester. It coincided with a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Wyoming that only recently began to subsided.

In announcing the extension of the mask requirement, the school noted that Albany County, where the university is located, remains in the Wyoming Department of Health’s “high transmission levels” category.

The move does not come as a surprise. In September, recommendations from the school’s pandemic task force indicated the mask requirement would likely continue through the fall semester.

“Our indoor mask requirement has helped us have a traditional fall semester without a spike in COVID cases, and we appreciate the willingness of our community members to do their part by complying,” President Ed Seidel said in a statement. “It will be important for us to maintain a high level of compliance before and after the Thanksgiving break so that we can complete a successful semester.”

The university was aware of 32 active cases of COVID-19 among its students and staff as of Monday, according to the school. The majority were students who live off campus.

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