August 4, 2021
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance for when face masks should be worn indoors. Specifically, the CDC now recommends that all people, irrespective of whether they have been vaccinated, should wear a face mask inside K-12 school facilities and inside all public indoor settings in communities where the rate of coronavirus transmission is high or substantial.
Throughout the pandemic, we have relied on the CDC and other public health experts to inform our University’s health and safety protocols. By relying on that expertise, we have been able to overcome the many dynamic challenges presented by the ongoing global pandemic.
Therefore, I have decided that, effective Monday, August 9, 2021, we will require all employees, students, and campus visitors — irrespective of their vaccination status – to wear a mask while inside any University building, with very limited exceptions that will be described in our updated protocols.
My decision is also driven by our own experience last academic year. For example, we implemented a pre-arrival testing protocol for the Spring 2021 semester. That enhanced protocol enabled us to mitigate the transmission of the virus on our campus for several months even though, at that time, the number of new cases was very high in our region. I believe this modification to our current mask protocol will enable us this Fall semester to sustain the vibrant on-campus experience that we all value so much.
There are a few additional points that are very important.
I will monitor the need for this new mask protocol every week. When the surge of new coronavirus cases driven by the Delta variant abates, we may be able to safely roll back this enhanced mask protocol.
My decision will also be informed by the number of employees and students who have been fully vaccinated. If that number increases substantially over the next few weeks, that fact may also expedite our ability to roll back this enhanced mask protocol safely.
If you have not been vaccinated yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. The vaccines are safe. And they are the most effective way that each one of us can contribute to bringing this pandemic to an end.
Beginning next week, we will expand the days and hours in which we administer vaccines in the Health Professions Building.
- August 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 24, 26, and 27; 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- August 14, 21, and 28; noon to 8 p.m.
You can make an appointment at ourshot.in.gov and select “DCHD BallState WRiversideAve MVAX” — or you can just walk in to our clinic to be vaccinated without an appointment. There will also be expanded hours in September.
Thank you for your cooperation and your continued commitment.