Mary Liz Flavin | news editor
Sept. 9, 2021
Masks are here to stay on the Bluff as top university administration renewed the temporary indoor mask mandate over Labor Day weekend.
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, students received an email updating them on the university’s decision to keep the mask mandate in place. It has been decided that for the time being, all individuals on campus — regardless of vaccination status — will continue to be required to wear a mask indoors.
“All individuals on campus are therefore reminded to wear a face covering when indoors, both in public spaces and when they are in groups,” the message said.
In continuation of this year’s mask policy, fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff are allowed to unmask in shared dining spaces, when they are eating and drinking, when they are alone and not in a public or shared space and when they are outdoors.
Duquesne is not alone in making this decision.
Campuses across Pittsburgh continue to mask indoors as the Allegheny County Health Department has encouraged the continuation of temporary indoor masking requirements throughout the region.
Other universities in the area including Chatham University, Carlow University, Point Park University and the University of Pittsburgh have decided to keep the indoor masking policy in place. According to their website, facial coverings must be worn indoors and outside if you are within six feet of someone.
Across all campuses students with either a medical condition or with certain religious beliefs can apply for an exemption and are not required to wear a mask. Students in each university must upload their vaccination status to their university’s specific database in order to track the progress of their campus’s vaccination status.
In terms of vaccination policy, Chatham, Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne all require their students to be vaccinated in order to attend in person classes. Carlow has not mandated their students to be vaccinated however, students living on campus and student athletes must be vaccinated. The University of Pittsburgh strongly advises faculty, students, and staff to get vaccinated although it is not required.
Chatham’s community vaccination rate currently stands at 93% of students and employees on campus as of September 7. Across all of Pitt’s campuses, 82% of the Pitt community has uploaded proof of vaccination as of Sept 1. Carnegie Mellon’s vaccine database reports 90% of Pittsburgh based students, 90% of faculty, 79% of staff, and an overall 87% are fully vaccinated as of September 9.
According to Duquesne University’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Dashboard that can be located under the health services tab on their website, 80% of students and 73% of employees were vaccinated as of Aug. 27.
In the email issued out to Duquesne students, Covid-19 vaccines are available, free of charge on campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Fridays. Vaccines are located in the Muldoon Building at the corner of Chatham Square and Fifth Avenue.
“The university’s goal is to reach the point where the mask requirement can be lifted for vaccinated individuals. This depends on everybody doing their part to stay safe,” the email said.