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Universities reinstate mask mandates around the country

Richie Malouf | The Center Square

As the school year draws to an end, American universities around the country are reinstating mask mandates.

The University of California Los Angeles sent out an email to its students on May 26, stating that its mask mandate “will go back into effect beginning Friday, May 27 and remain in place through Wednesday, June 15.”

Not all students are on board with the policy change, however.

“We are already one of the strictest schools with COVID; not only do we have to be vaccinated and boosted, but we also have to be tested weekly and fill out a symptom monitoring survey,” said Stella Foreman, a freshman at the university.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa’s website states, “effective Wednesday, May 25, face masks are once again required indoors across the University of Hawai’i System, except when working alone or separated from others by 6 feet or more.”

Regardless of how students may feel, more universities around the nation are following suit and implementing mask mandates again.

“The University of Delaware is reinstating its masking requirement for all indoor spaces, effective at 8 a.m., Tuesday, May 24,” according to a post made in the university’s newspaper, UDaily.

George Washington University extended its masking policy “for all university owned or operated facilities, including classrooms, until further notice,” according to its website.

The university acknowledged “rates of positive COVID-19 cases have dramatically decreased in the region and on our campuses.” However, the school said “rates still remain at a high level compared to other phases of the pandemic.

“In addition, we anticipate an increase of positive cases due to increased travel and gatherings over the Spring Break period,” the school added.

Some universities, however, will not reimpose mask mandates on their students.

American University, also located in Washington, D.C., decided to drop its mask mandate as of May 23.

Meanwhile, Americans are less worried about the pandemic than in the past.

According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, “just 19% of Americans rate the coronavirus outbreak as a very big problem for the country, the lowest share out of 12 issues included in the survey.”

Turning their attention away from COVID-19, “the public views inflation as the top problem facing the United States – and no other concern comes close.”

Originally published September May 26, 2022 by The Center Square

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