Public Colleges and Universities Expect Fall Semester Mask Mandate

By TOM LATEK, Kentucky today

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Students at all of Kentucky’s public colleges and universities can expect to see a mask tenure in place, when classes begin for the fall semester.

In a joint letter released Friday and signed by all the presidents of the state’s four-year public universities, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and the Council on Post Secondary Education, they said, “Just a few weeks ago , we seemed ready to return to a sense of normalcy that we all longed for. And as we remain eager to start the semester, we again face the challenges of the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant and the need to take precautions that we hoped were no longer necessary.

“After careful consideration of updated CDC guidelines, consultations with public health officials and the current spike in cases due to the highly contagious variant of COVID-19 Delta, all public colleges and universities in Kentucky will demand the wearing of face coverings on all campuses. buildings, by vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

In the letter, they noted that it was vitally important that everyone felt as safe as possible in the current environment, “so that they can learn, teach and provide support to our campuses throughout. highest level possible. We appreciate that everyone is doing their part to make this a reality.

“As all of our campuses are providing detailed guidance to respective communities, it is important that public higher education mobilize in this fight against COVID-19 and move the Commonwealth forward through high quality education. Despite this virus and the toll it has taken on everyone, we are excited about what this year will bring. If everyone does their part, we can beat this disease. “

In a letter sent to all University of Kentucky students on Friday morning announcing the new policy, UK President Eli Capilouto said: get seriously ill – we think the time has come to add additional safety measures.

“Masking has been shown to help prevent contracting the virus. Equally important, it helps stop the spread of the virus. Some of the latest scientific data indicates that the Delta variant is more transmissible than the early mutations of the virus. “

Capilouto added: “Students who are not vaccinated will take an entrance test in the coming days. They will also be tested regularly throughout the school year until they are vaccinated or provide us with a check of that status. Unvaccinated students should also continue to complete the daily health questionnaire.

“To protect our campus, we will also begin to consider these options for staff and faculty – mandatory vaccinations and mandatory testing on a regular basis.

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