Everyone required to wear masks indoors on Ball State's campus

<p>Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns stands June 4, 2020, at Muncie City Hall. Mearns announced everyone must wear masks indoors on campus via email Aug. 4. <strong>Jacob Musselman, DN File</strong></p>

Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns stands June 4, 2020, at Muncie City Hall. Mearns announced everyone must wear masks indoors on campus via email Aug. 4. Jacob Musselman, DN File

Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns announced all students, employees and visitors must wear a mask indoors regardless of the vaccination status via email Aug. 4.

Mearns said the decision came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance on wearing masks, specifically saying they should be worn inside K-12 school facilities and all public indoor settings where the rate of COVID-19 transmission is high.

"Throughout the pandemic, we have relied on the CDC and other public health experts to inform our university’s health and safety protocols," Mearns said. "By relying on that expertise, we have been able to overcome the many dynamic challenges presented by the ongoing global pandemic."

According to the email, the new mask protocol will go into effect Aug. 9 and there will be few exceptions.

Mearns also said he will be monitoring the need for the new protocol each week. If more students and staff on campus are fully vaccinated, Mearns said the university may "roll back this enhanced mask protocol safely."

In the email Mearns encouraged students and staff to get vaccinated, and announced the university is expanding the days and hours they will administer vaccines in the Health Professions Building.

"The vaccines are safe.  And they are the most effective way that each one of us can contribute to bringing this pandemic to an end," Mearns said.


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