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Ohio State To Require Masks Indoors Regardless Of Vaccination

The Ohio State University campus sign
Angie Wang
Associated Press

Ohio State will require masks to be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status.

In an email to the campus community on Monday afternoon, Ohio State President Dr. Kristina Johnson announced effectively immediately all students, faculty, staff and visitors will be required to wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status when on any campus or in OSU medical facilities. The mask mandate will stay on until further notice.

Masks continue to be required outdoors for unvaccinated people when physical distancing is not possible, Johnson said in the email. Vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask when outdoors.

The rise in the delta variant of COVID-19, which is now the most common form of the virus in Ohio and throughout the country, led university officials to update the mask protocols, she said.

Johnson urged the university community to get vaccinated to combat the virus. Over 73% of the Ohio State community is fully vaccinated, however Johnson said in her email that "we must do better."

The university is requiring all students, faculty and staff to report their vaccination status by Thursday.

To help boost vaccinations, Ohio State will be giving away up to $50,000 in gift cards, football season tickets and parking passes to vaccinated students, faculty and staff each Thursday from August 12 through September 2. To be entered to win the prize drawings, vaccinated students, faculty and staff must report that they are fully vaccinated by the Sunday before each drawing.

Classes for the upcoming fall semester start August 24.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.
Nick Houser leads the digital media team and oversees all things digital, including wosu.org, digital content, the WOSU Public Media Mobile App, social media, enewsletters, podcasts and on-demand video.