By: Amber Phipps, Bre Offenberger, and Madison Kopp
On March 1st of the 2022 Spring semester at Ohio, big changes were made in regards to the mask mandate. Since the start of COVID, masks have been worn and encouraged on and off-campus. As classes moved fully online in 2021, masks were not only encouraged, but required indoors and in large gatherings. At the start of the fall semester in 2021, classes shifted to asynchronous class times that included some in-person and some online classes. Students and faculty were required to wear masks at all times and test weekly in order to prevent the spread of COVID.
Recently, as the weather gets warmer and the end of the semester gets closer, the masks mandate and weekly COVID testing were no longer required. This change brought forth a variety of responses from students and staff, and concern for health remained prevalent. The masks mandate change was based on location percentages of COVID, so if the percentages of positive COVID tests started rising again, then masks would once again be implemented indoors and in large gatherings.
This change impacts a lot of students and OU faculty. Students that were concerned about their health and the safety of people they know were quickly brought to the attention of OU’s staff. While the masks are no longer required, OU continued to encourage people to wear their masks in any situation they felt a face covering was needed.