Missouri State, OTC & Drury requiring face coverings for upcoming school year

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 7:25 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2021 at 8:42 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College both announced Tuesday students and faculty will be required to wear face masks while indoors for the 2021-2022 school year.

Drury University announced on July 30 it will require masks.

MSU’s policy will go into effect August 22, and the university is following CDC guidelines.

“On July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance, indicating that, in order to reduce the transmission of COVID‑19, individuals should wear a mask or other face covering (collectively, “Masks”) while in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Such guidance applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.”

Masking requirements are already in place at Drury University and Ozarks Technical Community College.

All three schools will reevaluate their masking policies every 30 days and modify them if necessary.

Ozarks Technical Community College Chancellor Hal Higdon says when the school took down its COVID-19 safety signs and lifted its mask mandate in the spring, he never thought it would have to bring them back.

“We finished masking in the last semester we thought we were done forever,” said Chancellor Higdon.

He said the decision was made because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and our area’s low vaccination rates.

“If you’re not vaccinated and you’re unhappy about masking you need to look in the mirror,” said Chancellor Higdon. “Had our community embraced the vaccine the way they should we wouldn’t be masking today.”

MSU leaders also expressed concern over how quickly the Delta variant took over.

”We thought we would not be needing to do a mask mandate this fall and we rolled ours off at the end of May, but we were wrong,” said David Hall director of Safety for Missouri State University. ”It’s disappointing that we’re back here to where we were and we really expected we move past this whenever we were saying such good numbers in the spring semester.”

Evangel University says masking will remain optional.

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