Article written by Karlyn Dobmeier
On Sunday, March 13, the Bring Huskies Home Team — a team of SCSU staff and faculty dedicated to making protocol to keep students safe during the pandemic — sent out an email to all SCSU students announcing that starting Tuesday, March 15, masks will no longer be required on campus. This decision was made because positive COVID-19 cases have been in a steady decline in Stearns, Benton and Sherburne counties. Almost all counties in Minnesota have reached something referred to as CDC’s Low COVID-19 Community Level. According to the CDC, “… Community Levels are a new tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data [of covid related information, such as positive cases and hospital capacity].
As written in a memo on March 1, Chancellor Malhotra says, “as colleges and universities make the shift away from masking, this is ‘an institution-wide determination and individual faculty or staff cannot deviate from the institution’s overall approach.'” What this means is that on an individual level [such as in specific classrooms or offices] professors, faculty and staff cannot require students to wear mask. However, the Bring Huskies Home Team wanted to reemphasize that anyone who still wishes to wear a mask at any point has that right and “…should be supported for that decision.”