Students Face Mask Mandates This Fall

Universities in California and the Midwest are introducing mask mandates ahead of the fall semester

Image Credits: RichVintage / Getty Images.

When students return to campus this fall, several may face newly reinstated masks mandates. 

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) announced in mid-June that it was extending its indoor mask mandate

The June 14 mandate reads, “This decision will be reevaluated when UCLA and LA County case numbers and test positivity rates, as well as other metrics, plateau or improve.” 

Los Angeles County announced on July 28 that it would not renew its mask mandate due to COVID-19 cases decreasing in the area at that time.

It’s unclear whether UCLA will update its mask mandate for the Fall accordingly. 

Regardless of COVID-19 cases, California universities are pushing for masks mandates.

In a July 18 University of California Irvine (UCI) statement, UCI renewed its indoor masks mandate, an increase in COVID-19 as the cause for the new mandate.

According to UCI, the mandate will help prevent “possible exposure to and transmission of COVID-19 on property controlled by UCI, and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the UCI community.

Midwestern students will also face mask mandates.

Ohio University-Athens campus recently announced on Twitter that it would be bringing back its mask mandates as of August 1. 

OU’s website shows that 6 of the 8 OU campuses meet the CDC criteria to be flagged as high risk as of July 29. 

Among the requirements for high-risk areas is mandatory masking indoors.

Campus Reform reached out to OU Associate Vice President of Communications Carly Leatherwood. She explained that the current mandate is a “temporary measure.”

“This week, since Athens County is ‘red,’ we are requiring masks in all indoor spaces on our Athens campus,” she said. “The community levels are updated by the CDC weekly and we will reassess when those are released this Thursday [August 1, 2022]. Simply put, masking this week is a temporary measure.”

Kent State University (KSU) updated its mask policy on July 29 as well. Kent students will have to wear masks indoors. 

The change comes in light of rising COVID-19 cases in the area, KSU posted on Twitter. There was no mention of when the mandate would end. 

George Washington University, in Washington, DC, has maintained its mask mandate throughout the summer and, as of June 21, will continue until further notice. 

Students must be vaccinated and boosted to attend the university or apply for a religious exemption.

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