Protect Purdue team welcomes feedback while anticipating further-relaxing mask requirements
As communicated last month, face masks are now optional in most indoor spaces on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.
The latest medical guidance, evidenced by recent decisions and communications from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), indicates that masks are no longer recommended en masse for areas like Tippecanoe Countyand the Purdue University campus.
Currently, no changes to our masking policies have been made. As our recent communication indicated, however, we have always intended to further relax Protect Purdue protocols based on campus case numbers and severity.
In accordance with the new CDC guidance, the Protect Purdue Implementation Team is planning to make masks optional for classrooms and research spaces on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus earlier than previously anticipated. Masks will continue to be required in health care settings and where contractually required.
While the Protect Purdue Implementation Team continues to be guided by the latest science and medical experts, the team invites faculty, staff and students to submit any suggestions or possible considerations over the next two days regarding the further relaxation of masking.
Please submit your feedback via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 2.
- Are there any specific considerations relative to timing that the team should keep in mind?
- Are there any instances when a faculty member/instructor should be permitted to require masks in a classroom or laboratory setting?
It is expected that Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s emergency health order will expire this Friday, March 4.
The Protect Purdue Medical Advisory Team also supports taking the next step in making masks optional for classrooms and research spaces on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus at this time. The campus community is now 90% vaccinated and, according to our medical team, our overall immunity is in excess of 92%. According to Protect Purdue Health Center data, since Jan. 1, more than 99% of positive cases at Purdue have been reported as asymptomatic, mild or moderate, with zero hospitalizations. We have now reached less than 100 cases per 100,000 individuals, and the Purdue community has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to staying home when sick and/or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. We also now have widespread access to at-home tests and high-quality masks (N95 or KN95) when necessary or desired.
In addition to being up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations, one-way masking, defined as an individual’s decision to continue wearing a mask, has been proven to be effective in reducing the odds of testing positive for COVID-19 and is encouraged for any individual who wishes to continue wearing a mask in indoor spaces. High-quality masks will continue to be available on campus. Purdue will continue to conduct routine surveillance testing at least through March, including two weeks of testing after Purdue’s Spring Break.
The Protect Purdue Implementation Team continues to be guided by the latest science and medical experts, and all rules and regulations will be subject to change. If a surge or change in case severity occurs, the masking policy and other protocols could be adjusted.
Thank you again for your continued efforts to protect yourself, others and the Purdue community.