Duke students, staff will be required to wear masks indoors, regardless of COVID-19 vaccine status

As the delta variant continues to threaten the United States and North Carolina, Duke University will require all students and staff to wear masks indoors while on campus.The mask requirement was announced Wednesday because of the delta variant. “Given the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in North Carolina related to a combination of the Delta variant and the number of people who remain unvaccinated, all individuals will be required to wear face masks in all Duke-owned and leased buildings effective Friday, July 30, until further notice,” a post on the university’s website said.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday released its updated recommendations to reduce transmission of the virus, which included wearing masks indoors in areas with high transmission rates, even if individuals have received the COVID-19 vaccine. A statement from the school said this was “a disappointing turn,” but the update was based on the CDC guidance, as well as guidance from Duke’s infectious disease experts. Durham County, where Duke is located, has a moderate rate of COVID-19 transmission, according to the state’s county alert map. During the 2020-21 school year, Duke administration shared many concerns about COVID-19 outbreaks among students. A stay-in-place order was implemented for students for a week in March.The university announced its plans to require COVID-19 vaccines for all students, staff and faculty, with some exemptions, in April. The mask requirement will apply to all students and staff, regardless of their vaccination status.Masks won’t be required in on-campus residence halls where the risk of transmission and exposure is lower for high-risk individuals, the university said.

DURHAM, N.C. —

As the delta variant continues to threaten the United States and North Carolina, Duke University will require all students and staff to wear masks indoors while on campus.

The mask requirement was announced Wednesday because of the delta variant.

“Given the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in North Carolina related to a combination of the Delta variant and the number of people who remain unvaccinated, all individuals will be required to wear face masks in all Duke-owned and leased buildings effective Friday, July 30, until further notice,” a post on the university’s website said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday released its updated recommendations to reduce transmission of the virus, which included wearing masks indoors in areas with high transmission rates, even if individuals have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

A statement from the school said this was “a disappointing turn,” but the update was based on the CDC guidance, as well as guidance from Duke’s infectious disease experts.

Durham County, where Duke is located, has a moderate rate of COVID-19 transmission, according to the state’s county alert map. During the 2020-21 school year, Duke administration shared many concerns about COVID-19 outbreaks among students. A stay-in-place order was implemented for students for a week in March.

The university announced its plans to require COVID-19 vaccines for all students, staff and faculty, with some exemptions, in April. The mask requirement will apply to all students and staff, regardless of their vaccination status.

Masks won’t be required in on-campus residence halls where the risk of transmission and exposure is lower for high-risk individuals, the university said.

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