University Of Colorado Boulder, The State’s Largest University, Ends Its Mask Mandate

· Jun. 30, 2021, 10:03 am
<p>Students walk to and from classes on the campus of the University of Colorado, in Boulder, Colo.</p>
<p>Students walk to and from classes on the campus of the University of Colorado, in Boulder, Colo.</p>
<p>(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)</p>
Students walk to and from classes on the campus of the University of Colorado, in Boulder, Colo.

The University of Colorado Boulder won’t require students, faculty and staff to wear masks indoors on campus starting in July, regardless of vaccination status. 

“Masks or facial coverings are recommended indoors for individuals who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This is in alignment with state requirements,” the school said Tuesday in an announcement.

Masks will still be required on public transit and inside places like health care and child care settings, matching national guidelines. 

The state’s largest university and the flagship campus of the University of Colorado system joins Colorado College in removing mask requirements for the fall semester. The two have the strongest easing of COVID-19 restrictions thus far. 

Other colleges, like CU’s sister campuses UC Colorado Springs and UC Denver, dropped their mask mandates for vaccinated individuals, but still require it for unvaccinated people.

CU, along with most universities in the state, will require students, faculty and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus in the fall. Individuals can opt out for religious, medical or personal reasons. 

The massive presence of college-aged people in Boulder heavily influenced the city’s coronavirus landscape, as they were huge drivers of COVID-19 cases in the fall. In September, CU moved all classes online for two weeks to squelch outbreaks caused by the reopening of campus. At the same time, Boulder County Public Health issued an order prohibiting gatherings of people ages 18 to 22

In March, a college party in Boulder’s Hill neighborhood turned violent, with some attendees assaulting police officers sent to break up the gathering. The event culminated with some arrests by police and disciplinary action by CU.

The next semester at CU will be far closer to normal than the previous three. On top of easing mask requirements, the university is offering almost a full catalog of in-person classes and plans to fill dorms up to regular capacities. 

Other changes are coming too. It will be the first semester in two years without the leadership of Mark Kennedy, who’s leaving his post as president  in July. CU Chief Financial Officer Todd Saliman will act as interim president until the Board of Regents hires a new permanent leader.

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