Breaking news: CSU to reinstate mask mandate

Today at 5:14 pm, Cleveland State University released a statement via email to the campus community. The email mainly discusses the university’s decision to require masks on campus starting tomorrow, Aug. 9.

Email sent to the CSU community earlier today. Screenshot by Megan Keleman

The email starts off rehashing a COVID-19 update sent out on April 1 in which President Harlan Sands mentioned the university, “will continue to require masking, physical distancing and our other layers of protection to ensure we stay safe” for the fall.

In the May 20 communication, the specifics of the full fall schedule that included a “full-service campus and full slate of student activities and special events” were to return to in-person operations for the fall semester. This communication came a week after Governor Mike DeWine formally announced the state’s mandate being lifted.

Cleveland State’s message to require mask for everyone inside facilities and outside for unvaccinated individuals comes after the state’s mask mandate was lifted on June 2 in response to Governor Mike DeWine announcing in mid-May that the state would no longer regulate masks- leaving businesses to implement their own policies if they wanted. To comply with the lifted mandates, CSU has not required masks-or daily health assessments- since June 2.

The university’s policy change comes nearly a week after Governor Mike DeWine held a press conference in which he “strongly recommended” that students continue to mask up this fall due to the delta variant rise in Ohio.

This was also the day that Cuyahoga County reached the “CDC definition of substantial COVID-19 spread” and they recommended vaccinated individuals wear masks indoors.

John Carroll University was the first institution in Cleveland to announce a mask mandate. Kent State University followed with a similar policy on Aug. 4.

Case Western Reserve University issued all students and faculty to show proof of a vaccine, or when one is scheduled. CWRU is able to do this because the state’s law only applies to public institutions.

As of now, other than implementing a mask mandate, CSU is compliant with the May 20 communication, the specifics of the full fall schedule that included a “full-service campus and full slate of student activities and special events” were to return to in-person operations for the fall semester.

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