Mercer will no longer require students, faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated to wear masks on any of its campuses, according to an email from the university Monday. The updated guidance is a stark contrast from previously requiring all members of the Mercer community to wear masks while indoors or at campus events.
The announcement comes after the recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines stating that it is safe for people who have been fully vaccinated to leave the mask at home.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic,” the CDC’s website reads.
In addition to the new mask rules, fully vaccinated members of the Mercer community will not be selected for surveillance testing.
“Based on the data of increased vaccinations and decreasing positivity rates, it’s time to revise the University mask policy for those vaccinated students and employees,” Vice Provost Kelly Reffitt said. “It’s a step toward a pre-pandemic university experience. Many people are relieved that we have finally gotten to this point and are happy to remove their masks.”
Mary Helene Hall is a junior majoring in journalism. She is a Presidential Media Change Maker Scholar who has worked consistently for The Cluster throughout her time at Mercer. Mary Helene has received accolades for her work from National Public Radio, Discord, the Georgia College Press Association, and more. When she’s not working on a story, you can catch her reading a good book or enjoying the outdoors on Mercer’s campus.