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Editorial: Guidance needed from Bradley administration as mask mandates change

On Feb. 9, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced that the state of Illinois would lift its statewide indoor mask mandate on Feb. 28 due to declining COVID-19 related hospitalizations and increased vaccination rates.

While the mandate is lifted, masks are still recommended and local mask mandates may still be in place. Perhaps more pertinent to Bradley, mask mandates will continue in places where they are federally mandated – including in educational settings.

However, Bradley has not issued any updated guidance on its COVID-19 mask policies. The Scout believes that the university should be transparent with the student body, faculty and staff by providing an update to this guidance before Monday.

By not issuing an update, Bradley runs the risk of creating a Wild-West scenario in which students may or may not wear masks in class or in common areas, which is obviously not effective in preventing viral spread.

Whether or not the university sticks with the mask mandate in and out of the classroom or not, an update is needed in order to keep everybody on the same page.

Other universities have gotten the memo that they should update the campus of their plans regarding the mandate. For example, Illinois State updated its mask mandate on Feb. 21, announcing that face coverings will no longer be required in indoor settings with the exception of in classrooms, labs and clinical settings.

In the best interests of everybody on campus, Bradley should issue guidance soon – whether that means reinforcing current mandates, or lifting face-covering requirements in certain areas.

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The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.