Patrick Murphy | Northern Star
DeKALB – All NIU students, employees and guests, regardless of vaccination status, are now required to wear masks while indoors on campus, according to a July 28 email sent to students.
The change comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that now even fully vaccinated Americans should wear masks indoors in areas of high COVID-19 transmission.
The new guidance was in part prompted by data showing that the highly transmissible delta variant could possibly be spread by vaccinated people, according to the CDC. DeKalb County has been designated by the CDC as a location with “substantial” levels of COVID-19 transmission.
Non-compliance with the university’s mask policy and surveillance testing could result in disciplinary measures for employees and students. This includes being placed on unpaid administrative leave or students being removed from residence halls or classes, according to Wednesday’s email.
The only exception for individuals to not wear a mask is when they’re alone in their private work or living spaces.
“This remains a very dynamic situation, and the university will continue to monitor closely and provide timely updates,” the email reads.
As of Wednesday, three Huskies have tested positive for COVID-19 and 15 have recovered over the summer, according to the NIU COVID-19 dashboard. Ten people tested positive for COVID-19 in DeKalb County on Wednesday.
“Huskies should not make assumptions, question, judge or discriminate against others regarding masks or vaccination status,” the email reads. “Guidance on masking for the fall semester will be released closer to the start of classes.”