Ohio University will no longer require wearing masks on campus when COVID-19 levels are high

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University is no longer requiring that masks be worn on campus in counties designated as having a high level of COVID-19.

In an announcement late Friday afternoon, the university said it will continue to strongly recommend face masks when rates are high.

The university said this shift is consistent with policies at other universities in Ohio and with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

CDC guidelines look at three metrics to determine whether a COVID-19 community level is low, medium or high: new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past seven days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days.

Masks may still be required in some university settings, regardless of the COVID-19 community level. These include clinical health facilities, including Campus Care, and COVID-19 testing facilities.

Also, students, faculty and staff who test positive or are exposed to COVID-19 must following masking guidelines outlined in the university’s COVID-19 protocol.

Some people may choose to continue wearing masks to protect themselves, their families and communities and the university asks that their choices be respected.

The university is also asking that people stay up to date with vaccinations and boosters, particularly as new boosters soon become available that are formulated to target the latest COVID-19 variant.