UC, Miami U relaxing mask mandates for fully vaccinated people

Xavier may update mask policy soon, spokesman says
University of Cincinnati
Posted at 12:40 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 14:30:09-04

The University of Cincinnati and Miami University are both relaxing mask requirements for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Starting June 2, UC will allow individuals who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days to go maskless on campus, except on buses like the UC shuttle.

Unvaccinated individuals will still be required to wear a mask and distance themselves from others while indoors, unless they are actively eating or drinking or are alone in a private room or office. Those who are unvaccinated will not need to wear masks outdoors when they can maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

Across UC's campus, the university will continue to plan for social distancing, especially in shared office and workspaces and in "high-traffic common areas."

UC spokesperson M.B. Reilly told WCPO the university has already begun informing summer residential students that they can "reduce the frequency of their required mitigation testing by voluntarily submitting proof of vaccination."

Miami has similarly dropped their requirement for fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks indoors, but they do ask that people try to wear masks inside while around others when social distancing can't be maintained.

For fully vaccinated individuals, "masks are not required, indoors or out, but you are encouraged to be sensitive that not everyone has the same comfort level with a mask-less environment at the present time," the university's guidance read.

Unvaccinated people at Miami must wear a mask and keep 6 feet of physical distancing at all times when not working alone in an office or cubicle separated by 6 feet of distance from others. Masks are no longer required outside unless social distancing cannot be maintained.

Masks will not be required for those actively exercising in Goggin/Recreation Center as long as physical distancing is maintained, regardless of vaccine status. Everyone must wear masks on buses and other public transportation.

Miami spokesperson Carole Johnson said the university "will follow the honor system regarding our new safety guidelines" and will ask employees and students to voluntarily report their vaccine status.

Xavier University spokesperson Doug Ruschman said the university has not made a final decision yet on amending its mask and distancing protocols, but they may be updated soon.

Ruschman added that Xavier has already asked students to share their vaccination status, and many students are already vaccinated thanks to Kroger Health vaccination clinics at the Cintas Center earlier this spring.

Earlier this week, Northern Kentucky University ended its mask mandate for students, staff and visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

MORE: NKU ends mask mandate for fully vaccinated students, staff

Meanwhile, Indiana University in Bloomington is requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for its students and staff before classes resume in the fall, according to WCPO sister station WRTV Indianapolis.

More than 38% of all Ohioans have been fully vaccinated from COVID-19, or about 4.4 million people. In Kentucky, roughly 41% of the population has received the vaccine, or more than 1.9 million people. In Indiana, more than 40% of the population has received a vaccine, almost 2.4 million people.