President M. Roy Wilson outlined how updated COVID-19 guidelines will affect campus operations in an email to the campus community Monday.
The CDC released updated masking guidelines on May 16, allowing fully vaccinated individuals to go unmasked indoors and outdoors. Michigan announced similar guidance May 15, The Detroit News reported.
“Every day, we seem to get closer to the end of the pandemic, and we are excited for a fall semester that will see a return to campus and many beloved events and traditions,” Wilson said. “We are very encouraged by the less restrictive CDC guidelines, which the state also has adopted, as this moves us closer to our return to campus.”
WSU will retain its indoor mask mandate, while lifting the outdoor mask mandate.
Wilson said the decision was motivated by lack of clarity regarding who is vaccinated on campus.
Wilson said he encouraged people to get vaccinated. The Campus Health Center continues to provide free COVID-19 vaccine appointments to students and faculty.
All WSU libraries are expected to be fully open by fall.
Indoor events and guest passes remain prohibited, though Wilson said these are expected to resume eventually.
Guest visits to campus housing may also return in the fall if conditions permit. In-person dining and indoor events will likely resume in the fall.
Outdoor events are allowed during the summer, Wilson said. Campus tours will also be reinstated beginning in June.
WSU is preparing for employees to resume in-person work throughout the summer, with more details to come soon.
WSU eliminated domestic travel restrictions for university events. On-campus conferences that include outside visitors will maintain current restrictions.
At a virtual town hall held on May 18, faculty and students asked if WSU’s facilities would be able to prevent a potential COVID-19 outbreak.
“Campus has been maintained and, in many instances, improved throughout the pandemic. We are confident in its cleanliness, air quality and water quality,” Wilson said.
WSU is also working towards creating accommodating arrangements for parking fees, given some individuals will not be on campus full-time.
Dean of Students David Strauss and Tim Michael, associate vice president for Student Auxiliary Services and chief housing officer, will hold a virtual town hall on changing COVID-19 guidelines on June 7.
Arben Gacaferi is a correspondent for The South End. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Photo by Quinn Banks, The South End's multimedia editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.