Emporia State announced on Monday, Aug. 16 that masks will be required in all buildings on campus this Fall. This comes after the continued rise in Lyon County cases, and the increased danger caused by the Delta Variant.

Emporia State now requires all students, staff and faculty to wear a mask in all campus buildings. This change came August 16 in an email sent to campus from the Future Planning Group.

There are currently 143 active cases in Lyon County, according to Lyon County Public Health. With this rise in cases, and the Delta Variant’s high transmission rates, concern continues to grow in the ESU community.

“We looked at the numbers, and the numbers kept rising locally,” said Gwen Larson, director of Marketing and Media. “We started watching even what other universities were doing, and the most cautious (option) we could take, that we believe will keep us face-to-face this fall, is to add the requirement of masks inside buildings.”

The Future Planning Group is a continuation of the Fall Planning Group that was assembled in Spring 2020 to address the issues COVID-19 presented to campus.

Administration is also encouraging the campus community to continue getting vaccinated to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Being vaccinated also means less disruption to your daily routine if you are exposed to COVID,” said the Future Planning Group in their email on August 16. “Unvaccinated people who are exposed to COVID must quarantine for 14 days, which means staying home and avoiding contact with others. No classes, no practices, no work. Vaccinated people do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.”

ESU still hopes to return to some sense of normalcy on campus this Fall, continuing with planned events and in-person classes.

“The goal for Fall 2021 is to be as close to what we think of as normal as possible,” Larson said. “That’s face-to-face classes, tabling on main street again, activities, clubs can meet, athletic events, all of those things that people think of with an on-campus college experience.”

If you are not feeling well and are experiencing either COVID-19 or flu symptoms, call (instead of visiting) the Student Wellness Center at 620-341-5222 or Newman Regional Health at 620-343-6800, or visit them at 1201 W 12th Street. You can also reach out to Newman Regional Health if you’re looking to schedule an appointment for the vaccine.

Stay up-to-date:

Emporia State’s COVID-19 page

Lyon County Public Health

Kansas Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control

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