Georgia Universities Drop Mask Mandates for Vaccinated Students

Woman sitting alone with a mask on.


The University System of Georgia announced that it plans to drop mask mandates for fully vaccinated students and employees in the Fall 2021 semester, marking a return to relative normalcy.

“Fully vaccinated individuals can resume campus classes and other activities without wearing a mask. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue wearing a face covering while inside campus facilities,” a press release said.

The University System is also ditching social distancing rules.

“Fully vaccinated individuals can resume campus classes and other activities without physically distancing. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue socially distancing from others when possible,” said the press release.

Students will be able to resume normal campus activities, too, and according to the release, quarantines will no longer be required for anyone who has come into contact with another person who later tests positive for COVID-19.

As for large gatherings like sporting events, the press release said that each university in the University System should follow the latest executive order from Gov. Brian Kemp (R).

For student-athletes, COVID-19  procedures will be determined by the conference of which the school is a member.

Whether the University System will be able to enforce these regulations remains undetermined.

Kemp said in April that he does not support vaccine passports requiring proof of vaccination.

“I do not and will not support any kind of state-mandated vaccine passport. While the development of multiple safe, highly effective COVID-19 vaccines has been a scientific miracle, the decision to receive the vaccine should be left up to each individual,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the weekend said that universities should continue to require students to wear masks and socially distance until the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

That guideline appears to contradict the organization’s statement last week that vaccinated Americans can return to life as usual, without masks or social distancing, which prompted major corporations to drop their COVID-19 protocols.

The CDC has been lambasted for confusing the American public with its recent change in guidelines.

The University System says that its new guidelines are subject to change.

“All guidance listed here is subject to change based on recommendations from the Georgia Department of Public Health,” the press release concluded. “Institutions should be prepared to adjust plans as necessary.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].

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