By CBS Baltimore Staff

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Towson University is mandating COVID-19 booster shots for all students, staff and faculty who are eligible to receive them.

The university’s administration notified the campus community of the changes in a letter Friday, saying all students, staff and faculty would be required to submit proof of their vaccination status by Jan. 31 or within 14 days of them becoming eligible for the booster shot.

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The change falls in line with a measure from the University System of Maryland, which is requiring all students who live on campus to get their booster shots.

“We learn more each day about the virus and the omicron variant, which has proven to spread more rapidly than prior strains. We’re also seeing that those who are vaccinated and have had a booster are far less likely to become seriously ill or hospitalized,” the university’s letter said in part.

As with vaccines, there are exemptions available for people who cannot get the COVID-19 booster due to religious or medical reasons. Those who already obtained exemptions for the vaccine do not need to apply for a booster shot exemption.

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All members of the university community will be required to submit a negative test result for COVID-19 by Jan. 31 or within the five-day window leading up to their return to campus for work, classes or move-in, whichever comes first.

In addition, the university is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor locations on campus, and it is requiring KN95 masks in all classroom settings for the rest of the minimester and the start of the spring term.

While students, staff and faculty are asked to bring their own KN95 masks, there will be a supply of the masks provided at different locations on campus.

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CBS Baltimore Staff