The Fall semester is around the corner. And, in response to the highly contagious delta variant and rising rates of infection, Kentucky colleges and universities are updating their masking guidelines in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Here’s a look at what various schools around the region and state are doing.
What Are U of L’s COVID Protocols?
In a campus-wide email on Friday, the University of Louisville announced it’s implementing universal masking requirements, regardless of vaccination status. Last month, the university said it will continue its required COVID-19 testing program for fall 2021.
Testing will be required for any students, staff and faculty who are not vaccinated. The testing requirement also includes those awaiting a second dose.
The school will hold required testing periods throughout the first semester – Aug. 17-27, Sept. 7-17 and Oct. 6-15. Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory will provide the testing.
The University of Louisville has not announced any vaccine requirements for their students, faculty or staff.
What Are Bellarmine’s COVID Protocols?
Bellarmine University will require testing for non-vaccinated residential students. Those students will be tested on move-in day.
Students will receive their results back the same day; so-called “gateway testing” aims to stop any early spread of COVID-19. Vaccines will also be available to students that day.
Bellarmine is requiring campus community members, both vaccinated and not, to wear masks.
What About Other Schools In The Region?
Spalding University will require indoor masks for all, even for vaccinated individuals. The school doesn’t require vaccination.
Spalding’s policy features the use of the #ClearCampus app. #ClearCampus is a daily self screening app for COVID-19 symptoms. The university asks anyone–staff, student, faculty or visitor–with plans to come to campus to pass the health screening for that day.
Masking Up At State Institutions
Colleges and universities enforcing universal indoor masking policies, regardless of vaccination status are:
- Kentucky Community and Technical College System
- The University of Kentucky
- Western Kentucky University
- Murray State University
- Kentucky State University
- Northern Kentucky University
Morehead State University is not currently requiring people who are fully vaccinated to wear masks. Unvaccinated staff, students and visitors are recommended to mask up indoors ━ the school is relying on the honor system.
The university moves to its level two COVID-19 precautions on August 13. At that point, everyone, regardless of vaccine status, will be required to wear masks indoors and on campus transportation.
Once students are in their rooms or suites in residence halls, the university will give them the option to mask up, or not, based on personal comfort levels.
WFPL could not reach representatives with Eastern Kentucky University. Its COVID-19 FAQ sheet was not available online.
Clarification: This article has been updated to reflect Morehead State University’s two-tiered COVID-19 precautions.