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Xavier to lift indoor mask mandate starting Dec. 1

Xavier University student sues for tuition refund over remote learning
Posted at 4:40 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 21:08:45-05

CINCINNATI — Xavier students will not have to wear masks indoors starting Dec. 1.

The university announced it would remove its indoor mask mandate after observing low COVID-19 case counts and transmission rates. Xavier has reported fewer than 10 total positive active cases on any date.

"As a campus community, our students, faculty and staff have done an excellent job to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus," said Jeff Coleman, chair of Xavier’s COVID-19 Task Force, in a press release.

More than 92% of students are currently vaccinated, and Xavier requires all students to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 3, 2022 unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption. Those who have a religious exemption will be required to get tested on a regular basis. The university said 93% of all permanent employees are also fully vaccinated.

Xavier's COVID-19 Task Force will continue to monitor the virus, and Coleman said they may return to indoor masking if numbers change.

COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, are currently available at Xavier's student health services. Currently, Pfizer and Moderna boosters are only available to adults who are over 65, have underlying conditions or work in high-risk settings, though officials expect the Food and Drug Administration to authorize boosters for all adults as soon as this week.

The announcement comes as the Ohio Department of Health says more people are getting sick with COVID-19, reporting ICU admissions up 15%. Officials are urging people to get vaccinated and get the booster if possible to prevent the spread.

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