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Purdue to require face masks on campus regardless of vaccination status

Purdue officials said the new mask mandate begins Monday.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind — Purdue University is reinstituting a mask policy for campus.

Effective Monday, Aug. 2, face masks will again be required in all indoor spaces on campus for students, employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

"We have a shared duty, part of the Protect Purdue, not only to preserve a manageable level of infection on campus so that we don't have to suspend operations and interrupt our students' education, but also to protect our surrounding community by doing everything we can to lessen the stress on local health care infrastructure, especially hospital capacity," said Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer of the Protect Purdue Health Center.

The university made the change after the CDC updated its guidance Tuesday, saying all individuals — both vaccinated and unvaccinated — should mask up in indoor public places due to the high transmission rate of the delta variant.

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"Like everyone, we hope the worst of the pandemic is behind us, but our approach must continue to adapt to changing dynamics, just as we’re seeing cities, corporations and other institutions do in recent days," Ramirez said. "We will continue to monitor very closely local and campus case numbers, vaccine rates, and severity for any indications of concern and will revisit this policy frequently for necessary modifications. In the meantime, vaccines continue to be our best tool in the fight against COVID-19. Everyone who is able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is strongly encouraged to do so as soon as possible."

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Back in May, Purdue said it would strongly encourage vaccinations for all before returning to campus. The school is also offering an incentive for students and teachers who show proof of their vaccination. Ten students and 50 employees who document their vaccine to the university will be chosen to win a prize.

Purdue is also hosting a vaccine clinic on the West Lafayette campus.

Fall classes begin on the West Lafayette campus Aug. 23.

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