Universities

Some universities in Greater Cincinnati are dropping mask mandates

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to drop, more colleges and universities are lifting their mask mandates or considering doing so. Hospitals in the region are starting to loosen the visit limits a little. But there’s a lot of talk that goes into decisions about eliminating mask requirements. Xavier University’s mask experience changed first thing Monday morning. Just like when it was imposed, lifting it will also take some getting used to. “I had class this morning,” said Chris Tienken, a junior. “I didn’t know if I should wear one or not.” He did, but wasn’t quite sure. .Nearly everyone on the Xavier campus is vaccinated and active student cases are in the single digits. So face-to-face education has returned. Emily Helms, a junior, told us, “Every student is different. So I’m just more concerned about, like, people who aren’t comfortable with it, that they’re going to be okay with it. that.” For now, the University of Cincinnati is keeping its mask requirement in place. Anecdotally, the compliance continues. “Nobody really likes going in there like brazenly, but not wearing a mask,” junior Matthew Spahr said. “So it’s not really a problem.” The sense at area campuses is to try to do it right. Nobody wants to withdraw mask mandates too soon, without keeping them for a day longer than necessary. University of Northern Kentucky provost Matt Cecil said, “We think now is a good time to look at this and think about what’s next for our campus. We’ve been successful in large part because we’ve changed and suitable.” Outdoors, UC requires unvaccinated students to keep masks. But there’s no way to know. Matthew Morehead, a senior, expressed a personal reason for wearing a mask. “My girlfriend’s dad is diabetic,” he said. “So he’s much more at risk than most people.” In the classroom, masks are supposed to remain in place regardless of vaccination status. “At some point during the semester, I think we should lift the mask policy,” said freshman Kayla. Lux. “But with spring break approaching and everyone going to be traveling to different places, I feel like it needs to be put in place now. Keep it that way for a bit until things are starting to go in a more top-down direction.” As for hospitals in the region, they may be relaxing a little on visits, but not on mask chains. Two visitors instead of just one are now allowed for patients at St. Elizabeth, but only if visitors are wearing masks. TriHealth was also changing its visiting rules. But anyone who refuses to wear a mask will not be allowed in. UC Health policy is still one visitor per patient per day and masks remain mandatory. Likewise, the Children’s Medical Center is sticking to its policy requiring all employees and visitors to be masked. And there is no indication that the CCHMC would relax that any time soon. Most non-medical settings leave the decision to the individual. Although there are some places where not only masks are required but also proof of vaccination. For symphony concerts at the Music Hall, you must show your vaccination status at the entrance gate and be masked. Community center, both were needed. But for day-to-day activities, JCC does not require proof of vaccination, only that everyone wear a mask indoors unless working out in gym facilities. In the center. “We have an early childhood school with children under five who don’t have the opportunity to get vaccinated now. And, you know, we serve a lot of older adults as well. So, you know, we We really see this as a way to help our community keep people safe.” This is what hospitals are pointing to as motivators to maintain mask requirements.

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to drop, more colleges and universities are lifting their mask mandates or considering doing so. Hospitals in the region are starting to loosen the visit limits a little.

But there’s a lot of talk that goes into decisions about eliminating mask requirements.

Xavier University’s mask experience changed first thing Monday morning. Just as it was imposed, lifting it will also take some getting used to.

“I had class this morning,” said Chris Tienken, a junior. “I didn’t know if I should wear one or not.”

He did, but wasn’t quite sure.

“I feel like you just have to feel it with the students and then go from there,” he said.

Nearly everyone on Xavier’s campus is vaccinated, and active student cases are in the single digits. Thus, face-to-face education has returned to it.

Emily Helms, a junior, told us, “Every student is different. So I’m just more concerned about, like, people who aren’t comfortable with it, that they’ll be okay with it. .”

For now, the University of Cincinnati is keeping its mask requirement in place. For the record, there is always conformity.

“Nobody really likes going in there as brazenly without wearing a mask,” junior Matthew Spahr said. “So it’s not really a problem.”

The sense at area campuses is to try to do it right. Nobody wants to withdraw mask mandates too soon, without keeping them for a day longer than necessary.

Matt Cecil, provost of the University of Northern Kentucky, said: “We think now is a good time to look at this and consider what’s next for our campus. We’ve been successful in large part because we’ve changed and adapted.”

Outside, UC requires unvaccinated students to keep masks. But there’s no way to tell.

Matthew Morehead, a senior, expressed a personal reason for wearing a mask.

“My girlfriend’s dad is diabetic,” he said. “So he’s much more at risk than most people.”

In class, masks are supposed to remain in place regardless of vaccination status.

“At some point during the semester, I think we should lift the mask policy,” said freshman Kayla Lux. “But with spring break approaching and everyone going to be traveling to different places, I feel like it needs to be put in place now. Keep it that way for a bit until things are starting to go in a more top-down direction.”

As for hospitals in the region, they may be relaxing a little on visits, but not on mask chains. Two visitors instead of just one are now allowed for patients at St. Elizabeth, but only if visitors are wearing masks.

TriHealth was also changing its visiting rules. But anyone who refuses to wear a mask will not be allowed in.

UC Health’s policy is still one visitor per patient per day and masks remain mandatory.

Likewise, the Children’s Medical Center is sticking to its policy requiring all employees and visitors to wear masks. And there is no indication that the CCHMC would release this anytime soon.

Most non-medical settings leave that to the individual. Although there are some places where not only masks are required but also proof of vaccination.

For symphony concerts at the Music Hall, you must present your vaccination status at the entrance door and be masked.

For a Monday night symphonic film event at the Jewish Community Center, both were needed. But for day-to-day activities, JCC does not require proof of vaccination, only that everyone wear a mask indoors unless training in gymnasium facilities.

“We really do it because we serve certain vulnerable populations here,” said Jennifer Kash, the center’s chief operating officer. “We have an early childhood school with children under five who don’t have the opportunity to get vaccinated now. And, you know, we serve a lot of older adults as well. So, you know, we We really see this as a way to help our community keep people safe.”

This is what hospitals are pointing to as motivators to maintain mask requirements.