Ohio University “Strongly Recommends” Face Masks On Campuses

United States North America Higher Education News COVID-19 by Erudera News Sep 06, 2022

Ohio University in spring

Ohio University has updated its mask guidance for the fall semester 2022, and it strongly recommends wearing masks when on campuses and locations in countries designated as a “high” COVID-19 Community Level by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

In an announcement, the school said this is a shift from the previous requirement to wear masks in classrooms and counties listed at a high community level for COVID-19, Erudera.com reports.

According to the university mask policy, in settings at the “high” COVID-19 Community Level category, masks are strongly recommended to be worn in classrooms, laboratories, studios, clinical settings, other learning spaces, as well as in the Child Development Center.

Differently, when the Community Level is in the “medium” category, the university only recommends masks, while in the “low” category, masks are optional on campus.

However, the updated mask guidance states that masks may still be obliged in some settings regardless of community levels, such as clinical healthcare facilities, including Campus Care and COVID-19 testing facilities.

In circumstances where masks are not required, students, staff, and faculty testing positive for COVID-19 should comply with masking guidelines stated in the university’s COVID-19 protocol.

“Additionally, some individuals may need to, or choose to, continue to wear a mask. Please respect their choice to wear masks to protect themselves, their family, and communities,” the university said.

There are some exceptions on campuses, even if masks are required based on COVID-19 community level, including children under two years old, individuals who are actively eating or drinking, when receiving dental treatments or in other settings where it is not possible to wear a mask, when working with equipment and wearing a mask is dangerous. Exceptions are also made for people who have received a written exemption from the university due to extraordinary circumstances.

Students, employees, and visitors with a disability who can’t wear a mask and haven’t received approved exemptions may request practical accommodations through the Office for University Accessibility.

“For those who do not have access to the recommended masks, the University will provide a limited number at the beginning of the semester, while supplies last,” the school said.

In addition to the masking requirement, Ohio University encourages all members of its community to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination and boosters. When the summer semester 2022 started, the university decided that it no longer needed to require COVID-19 vaccines.

Yale University has also updated its COVID-19 policy, relaxing rules for the fall term; however the university will continue to require masks in classrooms and other spaces such as teaching laboratories and studios.

Due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has “strongly recommended” that everyone wears masks during in-person classes, claiming that it is a critical time as the number of cases could continue to increase. To protect the community, University Chancellor Robert Jones said that new COVID-19 boosters are expected to be distributed this month, which will be available for students and employees.

>> Mask Mandates Reinstated at Several US Universities.

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