Strict COVID-19 prevention measures such as masks, vaccine passes and asymptomatic testing seem to have disappeared nearly everywhere in the U.S. – except on college campuses.
Several prestigious universities are still requiring students to get vaccines and boosters, wear masks on campus and get regularly tested for COVID-19, while others have reinstated their policies following spikes in coronavirus cases.
At Johns Hopkins University (JHU), where vaccines and boosters are mandatory and 99% of students and affiliates are fully vaccinated, undergraduate students are required to get tested twice weekly and either wear N-95 masks or double-mask in classrooms and common areas.
Most of these requirements were briefly lifted March 9 then reinstated April 6 after fewer than 100 students reported a positive test over the course of six days. JHU reported that all of the positive tests represented students with mild or no symptoms.
Following an increase in COVID cases among undergrads, we’re making some temporary changes to our policies, including the reinstatement of twice-weekly testing for undergrads and mask requirements in dining halls and res hall common areas.
— Johns Hopkins University (@JohnsHopkins) April 6, 2022
The school denied one student’s request to be exempt from the booster requirement after he contracted COVID-19 and then claimed he had a severe adverse reaction to the vaccine which landed him in the emergency room, according to the Daily Caller.
The University of Pennsylvania is implementing a new four-level COVID-19 response system which will allow the school to reimpose restrictions in the future as it sees fit. The system was based on that of Philadelphia, which reinstated its mask mandate Monday.
Georgetown University reinstated its mask requirement April 7 for all indoor campus spaces after lifting the requirement March 18, noting that the school was experiencing an uptick in cases but was “not seeing cases involving severe illness.”
Columbia University and George Washington University reinstated their mask requirements Monday through the close of the spring semester, citing concerns about rising case numbers. Rice University currently requires all students to face masks in classroom settings, and people who are not vaccinated have to wear masks in all indoor campus spaces.
Beginning Monday, January 31, any member of the Cornell community experiencing mild to moderate symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 will be able to pick up a Symptomatic Test Kit at two on-campus locations.https://t.co/AxU4mARTuH
— Cornell University (@Cornell) January 28, 2022
JHU, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, George Washington University and Georgetown did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.