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UC will require face masks regardless of vaccination status

The University of Cincinnati updated its mask policy on Tuesday and also announced $50,000 in prizes to vaccinated students.
The University of Cincinnati updated its mask policy on Tuesday to require that vaccinated...
The University of Cincinnati updated its mask policy on Tuesday to require that vaccinated individuals wear masks indoors.
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 3:32 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The University of Cincinnati will require all individuals to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

The university updated its COVID-19 policy on facial coverings to include the requirement on Tuesday. Previously, vaccinated students were not required to wear face masks indoors.

It goes into effect Aug. 5, some 18 days before fall classes begin on Aug. 23.

The requirement extends to all individuals “unless you have received an exemption or accommodation; or when eating, drinking or alone in a private room.”

People who are not fully vaccinated are also required to wear face masks when outdoors and unable to maintain social distancing.

That part of the requirement relies on good faith, the university says. That is, those who are not wearing face masks outdoors are “attesting to compliance” with the requirement.

The requirement derives from new CDC guidance issued as cases of the delta variant surge nationwide.

UC will conduct screening testing of students moving into university housing. Fully vaccinated students can submit “acceptable proof” of vaccination.

Also on Tuesday, the university announced $50,000 in prizes it will award to fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff.

Drawings will begin the week of Aug. 20 and run for eight weeks.

Students who voluntarily submit their vaccine documentation will be eligible to win either a $2,500 or a $5,000 debit card. Faculty and staff who do so will be eligible to win a weekly award of $2,500.

“As our Academic Health Center experts continue to remind us, the best way to protect ourselves and our community against COVID-19 is through vaccination. I encourage all of us who are able to be vaccinated to do our part to protect our campus community,” UC President Neville Pinto wrote in a letter to students.

Vaccine mandates are prohibited by statute in Ohio public schools.

Northern Kentucky University issued a similar mask policy Tuesday morning.

Miami University is asking faculty, staff and students to follow CDC advice and wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

At Ohio State University vaccinated individuals will not be required to wear masks except on public transportation, at the Wexner Medical Center and in Student Health facilities. Unvaccinated students will be asked to wear masks indoors and to maintain social distancing.

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