Clemson University is extending its university-wide mask mandate to Oct. 30. The university will continue to require face coverings in all of its statewide buildings except while eating or in private spaces, according to an announcement made at Monday night’s CUSG Senate meeting.
The mandate, previously set to expire Friday, comes as positive cases reported to the university have been declining in recent weeks. There were 183 cases reported from Sept. 19 to 25, the last full week of data available, compared to 299 cases the week prior and 399 cases two weeks prior.
“[Clemson’s epidemiologists] did mention that they think students have been doing especially well on Clemson’s campus,” said Senate President Taylor Rogers at the meeting. “Our rate is much lower than the community’s, so they did commend us on that.”
The university does not appear to be looking for a particular positivity rate in order to repeal the mandate, according to Rogers. The City of Clemson’s positivity rate did play a part in the decision to extend the mandate.
Rogers emphasized a need for student government to be in the room as COVID policy is crafted.
“Whether members of CUSG are for or against the extension of the mask mandate in university facilities, we are asking that the Clemson administration is more transparent in their communication with the student body,” said Rogers.
The university has yet to formally announce the extension, though it is expected to do so soon, according to Philip Sikes, university spokesperson.
“News will be coming shortly to students, faculty and staff pertaining to the mask mandates and other health updates,” said Sikes.
The City of Clemson continues to require face coverings in all essential locations open to the public, including grocery stores, pharmacies and medical facilities, until Nov. 7.