ODU Revised Mask Policy Following CDC Guidance

Jonathan Fernandes, News Editor

Last week, President Hemphill’s office released a statement revising ODU’s indoor masking policy.  As of Monday, March 14, masks are still required in classrooms, laboratories, health care facilities, and public transportation utilities.  For every other indoor setting, masking will be left to individual discretion.  

These revisions come in the wake of new guidance from the CDC released on March 10 and February 25.  While the CDC is no longer requiring masks on public transportation, ODU still is.  Additionally, masks are no longer mandated in K-12 schools, however, ODU is still requiring them in the classroom.  President Hemphill has stressed that ODU places faculty and student safety is the university’s highest priority. 

Per the CDC website, COVID-19 community levels are gauged along three different metrics: new case admissions per 100,000 in the past 7 days, percent of beds occupied by COVID patients, and total new cases per 100,000 in the past 7 days.  The classification levels are low, medium, and high.  ODU’s COVID-19 community level sitting is currently ‘low’.  

President Hemphill expressed that even these revised mask policies may change if the COVID-19 positivity rate continues at ODU.  The decision to alter mask policies comes over a month after ODU changed its vaccine requirements as the pandemic has now passed the two year mark.  The end goal would be a complete return to normality for Monarchs with masks being left to individual discretion in all settings.