MSU complies with CDC, MSDH relaxation of mask requirements as local transmission numbers sharply decline

Contact: Sid Salter

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Vaccinated students, faculty, staff, and guests at Mississippi State University have earned a slight relaxation of indoor mask requirements effective Friday, October 29, as the university complies with the latest guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH).

“Over the last two years, Mississippi State has consistently worked to be compliant with federal and state COVID-19 guidelines,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “Thanks to the vigilance and discipline of our students, faculty, staff, and guests, we have continued our educational mission under trying circumstances. The latest numbers allow a relaxation of the mask requirements that represents a solid, welcome first step toward a return to normalcy on our campus. I encourage everyone to continue to work together toward that goal.”

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

On Oct. 28, 2021, the CDC classified the Oktibbeha County transmission rate as “moderate.” That “moderate” transmission rate classification triggers relaxation of mask requirements on the MSU campus under the conditions outlined by the MSDH.

However, regardless of vaccination status, all persons are still required to wear a mask in all MSU classrooms, labs, and studios during scheduled class times and at all times in the Longest Student Health Center. MSU employees may require masks to be worn inside their personal offices. 

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

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Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 3:17 pm