Washburn University mandates indoor mask usage, even if vaccinated

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 10:55 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Washburn University has mandated that all students, faculty and staff wear masks indoors, even if they are vaccinated.

Washburn University says it has worked diligently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the community. As a result, it said it has had few cases of the virus on campus. The University has consistently relied on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Shawnee Co. Health Department to prevent the spread of the disease.

In reviewing recent guidance and the fact that the Delta variant is widespread in the region, Washburn said it has decided that some continued precautions will be needed to make sure in-person classes can be sustained, as well as the on-campus experience.

WU said it strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19. It said the vaccines are available for free in its student health clinic, as well as various locations around Topeka and throughout Kansas.

According to the University, masks will be required in all indoor facilities, regardless of vaccination status, starting on Aug. 9, with some limited exceptions. It said masks are not required if a person is alone in a work or office space and masks are optional, but strongly recommended, in outdoor public spaces where social distancing is unable to be maintained.

If residents are unable to wear a mask, WU said they can seek accommodations through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for students or Human Resources for faculty and staff.

As a reminder, the University said students that live in residence halls will be required to present proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test in order to move in. It said if they do not have one of the two required documents, they will send the student to the Health CLinic for a test before they move in.

According to Washburn, the mask policy will be reviewed on a weekly basis and will be updated or rescinded as appropriate. It said it hopes the requirements are temporary, but the best way to assure that the situation is temporary is to get vaccinated and encourage everyone eligible to do the same.

For more information about COVID-19 on Washburn’s campus, click HERE.

To see limited exceptions to WU’s mask rule, click HERE.

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