Dear Shippensburg University Community,
Recently, the CDC updated their guidelines regarding the use of masks and implemented COVID-19 Community Levels. This tool provides access to the latest COVID-19 data, and aids communities in determining prevention steps to take regarding mitigation strategies. This includes guidance for individuals in high-risk (red), medium-risk (yellow) and low-risk (green) areas. Shippensburg University lies within Cumberland County which is currently in the medium-risk (yellow) category.
Following extensive consultation with our various leadership teams and our dedicated COVID-19 Council, Shippensburg University will employ the steps described below as we begin unmasking on campus:
Effective, 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2022, Shippensburg University is no longer requiring the use of face masks inside campus buildings, with the exception of the following:
- Masking is required in classrooms, labs, and clinical areas.*
- As requested, when entering a faculty or staff office or as posted.*
- When visiting the Etter Health or University Counseling Centers.*
- When visiting a COVID-19 testing center, including the CUB 105.*
- While riding on public transportation, including all Capital Area Transit (CAT) buses.
- Athletes shall continue masking when visiting the Department of Sports Medicine, and while traveling to and from external colleges/universities. Athletes must also abide by all policies set forth by external colleges/universities.
(* Standard signage can be provided to anyone wishing to identify their classroom, lab, clinical space, faculty/staff offices, etc. as a space requiring masking. Please contact the COVID Office at (717) 477-1007, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for signage.)
Individuals are asked to continue carrying masks with them at all times. Students, faculty, and staff must adhere to masking requirements when traveling to high-risk areas outside of Cumberland County. Individuals traveling to campus from high-risk areas must also continue masking when indoors. Please refer to the COVID-19 Community Level for updated information on counties across the U.S. Individuals returning from spring break are encouraged to continue masking and test upon their return to campus.
The university will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases in our community and surrounding counties throughout and after spring break. If we continue to see a decline in the positivity rates we may seek to ease masking requirements in other campus locations. Likewise, if in the event the level of risk changes from medium to high, or if there is an increase in positive cases on campus, the indoor masking requirement may be reinstated in other areas until further notice.
As members of the campus community, please respect the preferences of your fellow Raiders. At all levels, individuals should make their own decisions regarding mask usage. People may still wear a mask based on personal preference, or as informed by their personal level of risk. Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms, those who have received a positive test result within the last 10 days, or those exposed to someone with COVID-19 are still required to wear a mask.
Charles E. Patterson, PhD
Interim President, Shippensburg University