New mask guidelines announced at local universities

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HIGH EARTH, IND. (WTHI) – Local universities in the Wabash Valley are updating their COVID-19 guidelines.

Officials at Indiana State University, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, and Ivy Tech Community College on Monday all announced they will require masks for all students and staff regardless of their immunization status. .

Some students say they are frustrated with the decision, but others believe it is the right decision.

“I know it’s in place to keep students safe,” said Jacob Nuttall, senior at Indiana State University. “A lot of people are worried. We really don’t know what’s going to happen with COVID. Honestly as a student I don’t like wearing my mask here, it makes it harder to breathe especially when sitting in a room I’m not really in favor of it, but I understand why it’s in place.

It comes at a time when COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are increasing rapidly across the state.

Initially, the ISU, like many other universities, had a mask recommendation in place and required it for all unvaccinated people. But now things are changing as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

“This stems from a total commitment to the safety and health of our employees, students and visitors to this campus,” said Deborah Curtis, president of Indiana State University.

The move comes after the CDC announced new guidelines recommending that vaccinated people resume wearing face coverings indoors. Health experts say this is because the delta variant is significantly more contagious and can spread to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. University officials say the move may only be temporary if things improve in the near future.

“I would say it’s the right thing to do now,” Curtis said. “We don’t believe it’s forever. But for now and in the near future, it’s the best way for us to come together.

ISU officials say it’s the best way to protect everyone without forcing the vaccine.

“We really think this is the best way for us,” she said. “I have every confidence that this campus will come together and allow us to be here to fulfill our primary mission of educating and graduating students who stay in the state of Indiana and contributing to the economy. .

There will be a walk-in vaccination clinic at Indiana State University on Tuesday, August 17. This will take place at the Hulman Memorial Student Union from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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