MSU complies with CDC and MSDH relaxation of mask requirements as the number of local transmissions drops sharply


Contact: Sid Salter

STARKVILLE, Mississippi – Vaccinated students, faculty, staff and guests at Mississippi State University have been granted a slight easing of indoor mask requirements starting Friday, October 29, as the university complies with the latest guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH).

“Over the past two years, the state of Mississippi has consistently strived to comply with federal and state COVID-19 guidelines,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said. “Thanks to the vigilance and discipline of our students, faculty, staff and guests, we have continued our educational mission under difficult circumstances. The latest figures allow for an easing of mask requirements, which is a solid and welcome first step towards a return to normalcy on our campus. I encourage everyone to continue working together to achieve this goal.

The latest MSDH guidelines state that masks should be worn indoors in public places by all unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated students, faculty, staff and visitors. The MSDH now orders that when the level of community transmission is classified as “moderate”, vaccinated students, faculty, staff and visitors are still encouraged but are no longer required to wear masks universally indoors.

On October 28, 2021, the CDC classified Oktibbeha County’s transmission rate as “moderate.” This “moderate” transmission rate classification triggers a relaxation of the mask requirements on the MSU campus under the conditions described by the MSDH.

However, regardless of vaccination status, all people are still required to wear a mask in all MSU classrooms, laboratories and studios during scheduled class times and at all times in the longest student health center. MSU employees may require masks to be worn in their personal offices.

MSU will continuously observe transmission rate data over two weeks. If transmission rates change to “substantial” or “high” transmission levels, the university will adjust the changes to the masking guidelines.

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