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Masks now required indoors on Ohio State campuses regardless of vaccination status

The policy is effective immediately.
Credit: WBNS-10TV / Bob Donnelly
File photo - Ohio State University, Columbus Ohio

The Ohio State University is requiring students, faculty, staff and visitors on all campuses to wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status.

In a statement released Monday, President Kristina Johnson said the policy is effective immediately.

"In recent weeks, the Delta variant has rapidly become the most common form of the virus in Ohio – and across the nation. The Delta variant is much more contagious than previous versions of the virus, causes infected patients to have substantially higher amounts of the virus in their system, and can be transmitted to others even by fully vaccinated people who contract the virus."

Vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask outdoors while unvaccinated people will be required to wear them when they cannot maintain physical distancing.

"Throughout the pandemic, Ohio State has adapted its actions based on new information and expertise from local, state and federal health officials as well as our own medical and public health experts. We will continue to follow this approach as we prepare for a robust, in-person experience in the upcoming academic year," Johnson said.

According to Johnson, more than 73% of the Ohio State community is completely vaccinated.

"The vaccines have proven to be exceptionally effective at preventing serious illness and death, even when people contract the Delta variant. I urge everyone who can be vaccinated to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment as soon as possible," Johnson said.

Last week, Ohio State announced all students, faculty and staff were required to report their vaccination status by Aug. 5.

The university is also going to give away $50,000 in prizes for those who are vaccinated. The first drawing will take place next week, with winners announced Aug. 12.

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