Howard University Has Transitioned to Mask-Optional Requirement

University students wearing masks in classrooms

The requirement to wear a mask is now optional at Howard University’s main campus and the west campus, the university announced earlier this summer.

According to a statement by the university, masks will be optional at buildings operated or owned by Howard, such as libraries, offices, residential buildings as well as dining facilities.

Nonetheless, the institution stated that it would continue to require vaccines and boosters, which according to it, have proven to be the most effective way to prevent illness and hospitalization.

Howard has made masks optional in classrooms, too; however, it explained that faculty might require students to wear masks during their course.

In addition, individuals have been required to wear a mask while using university-sponsored public transportation or when visiting university health care facilities.

Meanwhile, individuals who must return to the university after quarantine or isolation must wear a mask for the full ten days from the date of being infected, in accordance with the DC Health guidance and CDC guidance.

“Following an increase in cases at the end of the Spring 2022 semester, we have seen a steady decline in campus positivity rates. Further, in keeping with the shift of the CDC away from using only positivity rates, we also are tracking severe illness and hospitalizations,” Howard said in a statement published on June 10.

The university said that it would continue to monitor public health conditions on a local, regional and national level.

“Please be mindful that every individual has the right to wear a mask whenever and wherever they wish on our campus. We will continue to respect the individual decisions of faculty, students and staff secondary to the parameters noted above,” Howard officials advised.

In April, Howard notified that it would switch some classes online after a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. Back then, the number of positive cases at the university increased from two percent to five percent.

The decision applied until April 22, with students also being required to take their final exams online.

Howard University was founded in 1867, and today it is one of the leading research universities in the nation. It enrolls about 9,689 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from 415 US states. To date, the university has awarded over 130,000 degrees in sciences, humanities, and the arts field.

Earlier in the year, several universities across the United States announced the decision to reinstate mask wearing for students, staff, faculty, and other members of the community, as well as visitors.

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