Newly released COVID-19 guidelines at Monmouth University in New Jersey require all students to wear masks — even those students who are vaccinated.
The school issued the guidelines on June 14, which state the rules are in effect for the fall 2021 semester.
What's a brief history here?
The school also recently announced that students would be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine unless the student qualified for a religious or medical exemption on a case-by-case basis. Details on what would qualify as an exemption have not yet been disclosed.
Students will be required to provide to the school proof of vaccination by Aug. 1. If students do not comply with the mandatory vaccination rule, they are subject to disciplinary action and may eventually be suspended.
The school joins the ranks of more than 450 colleges and universities requiring vaccinations for students.
What are the details?
According to a Monday report from Campus Reform, Monmouth University President Patrick Leahy said in a June 14 statement, "The university has carefully considered the role that COVID-19 vaccinations will play in safeguarding the overall health and safety of the university community. We acknowledge that reaching a high vaccination level among our community is the most important factor in resuming in-person activities across campus this fall.
"According to the CDC, universal vaccination appears to be the most effective path forward to resuming prepandemic levels of normal activity," Leahy's statement continued. "In addition to the vaccination mandate for all students, faculty and staff, the university will continue to require masks in all classroom, lab and teaching spaces, as well as the library, for everyone in attendance, regardless of vaccination status."
May 28 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that the risk of COVID-19 infection is "minimal for fully vaccinated people."
"Therefore, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing except where required," the CDC stated in the updated guidelines.
The announcement on the school's website states, "In addition to the vaccination mandate for all students, faculty, and staff, the University will continue to require masks in all classroom, lab, and teaching spaces, as well as the library, for everyone in attendance, regardless of vaccination status.
"Individual faculty and support staff may also require students visiting their respective offices to be masked before meeting," the statement added. "Masks will not be required outdoors or in other communal spaces on campus (e.g., dining hall, student center, fitness center, etc.), unless an individual is unvaccinated and/or exhibiting one or more COVID symptoms."
In his statement, Leahy also said there would be a three-foot social distancing rule put in place "wherever any in-person instruction is taking place on campus (e.g., classroom, lab, teaching space, etc)."
"Individual faculty and support staff may also require students visiting their respective offices to adhere to the 3-feet social distance requirement," Leahy added.
Carlie Zeidler, president of the school's College Republicans chapter, told the outlet that the vaccine mandate is unconstitutional.
"Monmouth University requiring the vaccine is an outrageous attack on a person's rights," Zeidler said. "The government and, or, any institutions do not and should not have the authority to tell someone what to put in their body. Vaccines should 100% be a person's choice."