Ohio University President Hugh Sherman announced Wednesday that vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks indoors, unless stated otherwise, effective immediately.
The decision to lift previous face covering and distancing protocols comes after updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, stating masks and face coverings do not need to be worn by fully-vaccinated individuals indoors.
In a university-wide email, Sherman said physical distancing inside non-classroom settings on campus is also no longer required for individuals who are fully-vaccinated. Within classrooms, OU continues to require a three-foot distancing policy regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.
Despite this announcement, Sherman continues to encourage students, faculty and staff to act in their best interest and respect the decisions of other individuals on campus through this transition.
“While this will be welcome news to many, some people who are vaccinated may continue to wear masks due to additional health risks or as a preference as we enter new territory,” Sherman said in the email. “We encourage everyone to carry a mask and wear it when interacting closely with those who choose to wear a face covering.”
Vaccinated individuals are also no longer required to participate in asymptomatic testing and are able to opt-out of the university's COVID-19 Testing Pathway Program by choosing the Vaccinated Pathway. Individuals who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to take an asymptomatic test weekly through the program.
Unvaccinated individuals are still required to wear masks and maintain a physical distance of six-feet in all indoor spaces on campus.