Valparaiso University announced new policies for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19, taking effect Sept. 7.
The initial mask mandate, issued in Aug. 2021, required all on-campus individuals to wear face coverings while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. The plan was to be re-evaluated Labor Day. However, group sizing limitations and social distancing rules weren’t in place.
VU’s decision to lessen a portion of the pandemic related restrictions, follows a constant monitoring of the Delta variant, the state, the region and campus vaccination numbers. Currently, 93% of the student body and over 95% of faculty are fully vaccinated.
Updated procedures include optional face coverings for fully vaccinated individuals in indoor common areas and residential buildings from Sept. 7-Sept. 20. Classroom and laboratory settings will remain mask enforced until after Sept. 20. As long as local and campus data remain suitable after Sept. 20, faculty members will set their own standards for face coverings in laboratories and classrooms.
Additionally, the university will still mandate that those who are unvaccinated, or partially through the vaccination process, wear a mask. This includes outdoor events, indoor spaces and in classrooms and laboratories.
While students are off-campus and in the community, Valpo encourages them to wear a mask due to the lower vaccination rates within the region and the state.
For more information, visit the Valpo COVID-19 Information website at valpo.edu/covid-info/.
This is a developing story. The Torch will update this story as more information becomes available.