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Ohio colleges, universities treading lightly on COVID protocols as fall semester approaches

Vaccines are still required for all students and faculty at Otterbein University, the Ohio State University and Capital University.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio University has brought back its mask mandate as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state. 

Everyone will be required to wear masks in all indoor spaces on campus. The university says this is temporary until cases trend back down.

Meanwhile, vaccines are still required for all students and faculty at Otterbein University, the Ohio State University and Capital University. However, masks remain optional for now.

Students at Ohio State expressed mixed feelings as they prepare to head back to campus.

Joel Matthew, an undergrad at Ohio State, said the university's decision to keep masks optional is questionable but understands most people would rather keep the masks at home.

"Like most people, we've been through this for two years and most people are tired of it,” Matthew said.

"I feel indifferent to it, like if I want to wear a mask I can, if I don't, that's my choice,” said undergraduate Leah Baker.

Otterbein University is encouraging, but not requiring, people to wear masks in shared spaces on campus. The university said it's monitoring data closely, but their campus community's COVID rates have been far below regional and national trends.

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