CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Ahead of the new school year, many colleges across the U.S. and here in the Miami Valley are reevaluating their mask policies to protect both students and staff from the new and highly contagious Delta variant.
At Clark State College, masks aren’t required yet, but are highly recommended.
In a statement to WDTN, Dr. Matt Franz, Senior Vice President of Technology, Safety, and Strategic Planning for Clark State Community College said while subject to change, the hope is students take the Delta variant seriously.
“At this time, Clark State follows both state and federal recommendations to strongly recommend wearing masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. We have communicated this strong recommendation widely to our students, faculty, staff and community members,” said Dr. Franz.
However, not all students are on board with masking back up, after over a year wearing them. “If it’s mandatory I probably will, but if not I probably won’t,” said Clark State Freshman Jazsmin James. “It’s just so annoying and I had to do it the last few years of high school.”
At Clark County’s Wittenberg University, and online statement shows students and faculty will be required to mask up indoors or in public spaces on campus where social distancing isn’t possible.
However, Premier Health’s regional medical director, Dr. Joseph Allen, says masks might not even be enough to keep the Delta variant at bay. “Some of the variants are a little more infective, a little more contagious if you will. So, the masks aren’t as useful against them. They’re still useful, I don’t wanna make it sound like it’s a bad thing. If you chose to wear one, you wanna protect yourself that’s obviously what you should do.”
Kevin Cooper is also a Clark State student, and says he’s burnt out on mask wearing. “I’d rather just not wear it all when I’m outside, because I’m vaccinated. But, if I have to wear it then I’m going to.”