- Some colleges are scaling back their requirements for people to wear face coverings on campus following new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The adjusted mandates are coming with caveats. Those include that masks only be taken off outdoors or that they must be worn in large groups.
- Campuses are still working through their safety protocols for the fall, though a growing contingent requires students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Late last month, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated individuals don’t need to wear a face mask outdoors, except in crowded settings. The CDC continues to recommend they wear masks in public indoor environments. The new public health guidance prompted some jurisdictions and states to ease their mask mandates for outdoor spaces — and some colleges followed suit. Duke University, in North Carolina, won’t ask students, employees, or visitors to wear masks outdoors, except in crowds or during gatherings where physical distancing isn’t possible.
Similarly, Rice University, in Texas, won’t require masks outdoors, except for cases in which people can’t maintain 3 feet of distance. And Johns Hopkins University also won’t mandate masks outside, as long as individuals are 6 feet apart. But Trine University, a private institution in Indiana, said it would make mask-wearing optional indoors and outdoors. However, it would continue specific coronavirus safety measures, including coronavirus testing and temperature checks for students on campus this summer. Trine’s graduation ceremony is Saturday, and it will require masks there.