Increase in size limit for outdoor gatherings

Williams students, faculty and staff,

Effective immediately, I am increasing the limit on outdoor campus gatherings from 10 people to 25. As an editorial in today’s Record pointed out, the college had retained a more stringent rule on outdoor gatherings than state guidance. After considering the editorial and reviewing the pros and cons, Senior Staff agreed that we should bring our policies back into line with the state’s by increasing our limit.

Between now and May 29, when Massachusetts will end most Covid restrictions, Williams students, faculty and staff are welcome to gather outdoors in groups of up to 25. Our current limits on indoor gatherings will remain in place during that time. Many thanks to the Record editors for identifying the rule discrepancy and crafting a persuasive case.

Please note that while the state will not require masking after the 29th, they will continue to advise that individuals who are not fully vaccinated should wear masks indoors, as well as outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

Finally, I want to ask that we all respect anyone who continues to wear a mask after May 29, a group that will include people who cannot get vaccinated and those who are vaccinated but may need to continue masking for a variety of reasons.

I hope the new gathering rule will help you all get outdoors and enjoy your remaining time together before the end of the semester!