The Perfect Enemy | Ohio University to reinstate mask mandate due to COVID transmission
August 17, 2022

Ohio University to reinstate mask mandate due to COVID transmission

Ohio University to reinstate mask mandate due to COVID transmission  The Columbus DispatchView Full Coverage on Google News

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Ohio University is reinstating its indoor mask mandate starting Monday.

The mask mandate is going into effect because Athens County is listed as having a high level of transmission on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest COVID-19 data tracker, according to the university’s website.

Ohio University is the first public university in Ohio to reinstate a mask mandate after colleges and universities shed their mask mandates in the spring. OU’s classes begin Aug. 22.

The university’s mask mandate will drop when the level of COVID-19 transmission in Athens County goes down to medium.

More COVID-19 news:Ohio reports 29,876 new COVID-19 cases in past week

Masks will be recommended during scheduled class and class-related activities when the level of transmission is medium. Masks will be optional when the level of COVID-19 transmission is low in Athens County.

The new BA.5 variant is the most contagious thus far and Ohio reported 29,876 new COVID-19 cases in the past week. Athens County has a 319.33 case rate per 100,000 population and 11 new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population. In the county, has 6.6% of inpatient beds are being used by patients with confirmed COVID-19, according to the CDC.

Franklin County is also listed as having a high level of transmission according to the CDC, Columbus and Franklin County public health agencies issued indoor mask advisories last week.

Ohio State University is not requiring masks, university spokesman Ben Johnson said in an email.

“The university’s mask-optional policy remains in place on our academic campuses,” Johnson said in an email. “As always, the university’s COVID-19 response may change based on the state of the pandemic and guidance from federal, state and local authorities.”

Megan Henry is a Columbus Dispatch K-12 education reporter. Reach her at mhenry@dispatch.com or (614) 559-1758.Follow her on Twitter @megankhenry. Sign up for her education newsletter here.