Ball State announces new mask guidance outdoors effective June 1

<p>Ball State administrators announced fully vaccinated people will no longer be required to wear masks outside effective June 1. Unvaccinated people are still required to wear face masks. <strong>Unsplash, Photo Courtesy</strong></p>

Ball State administrators announced fully vaccinated people will no longer be required to wear masks outside effective June 1. Unvaccinated people are still required to wear face masks. Unsplash, Photo Courtesy

In a campus-wide email sent Wednesday afternoon, Ball State Vice President for Business Affairs Alan Finn and Vice President for Student Affairs Ro-Anne Royer Engle announced fully vaccinated people on Ball State's campus will no longer be required to wear masks or socially distance outdoors effective June 1.

June 1 is the first day of new freshman orientation, which will end July 16, when thousands of incoming students and their families are expected to visit campus, the email said.

Ball State's COVID-19 response plan for summer 2021 states fully vaccinated people gathering together indoors are allowed to unmask, but only when no unvaccinated people are in attendance. Kathy Wolf, vice president for marketing and communications, said via email space capacity limits indoors will remain in place. She also said the university is not presently requiring proof of vaccination.

The university has not announced requirements for any employees or students to be fully vaccinated, but a May 10 email from Royer-Engle said if the Food and Drug Administration advances the approved COVID-19 vaccines to a full approval authorization status from their current emergency-use authorization, administrators will likely require students in certain activities to be vaccinated if their involvement poses a greater risk of COVID-19 transmission.

"Our policy change emphasizes the benefit for all members of our campus community to get vaccinated," the May 26 email from Finn and Royer-Engle said. "As we substantially increase the number of fully vaccinated people who are teaching, working, learning, socializing and living on our campus, additional changes to our health and safety protocols become more viable."

Additional updates to Ball State's health and safety protocols are expected by August 1.

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