PITTSBURG, Kan. (KSNW) – Starting Monday, June 29, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors at Pittsburg State University will be required to wear a mask while on campus, the university announced Thursday.
Exceptions to the rule will be those who are alone in an office or workspace and well-distanced from others, students alone in their residence hall rooms, those who are outside and well-distanced from others, and those who have a recognized disability and have an accommodation that prevents wearing a mask.
Masks already are required in workspaces on campus where social distancing cannot be maintained.
“Our goal is not only to open but to stay open until we dismiss students for fall break and online completion of the semester on November 20,” said PSU President Steve Scott. “To achieve that goal, we must each take individual responsibility and do the things known to prevent transmission of the virus: social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands, and staying home when sick.”
Pittsburg State said scientific studies have shown that mask-wearing dramatically reduces the chances of spreading COVID-19. The requirement will be in place on campus for the foreseeable future and will be reassessed regularly.
Other universities have implemented similar policies in recent days, including the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.
At PSU, masks have been provided to every full-time employee, and departments can request a mask for each part-time employee. Students should be prepared to supply their own masks. The university is working on getting additional reusable and disposable masks for visitors. A mask enforcement policy is under development and will be announced soon.
Employees with recognized disabilities that prevent wearing a mask should contact the Office of Institutional Equity. Students in the same situation should contact Student Accommodations.
In addition to masks, the working groups planning for resumption of face to face coursework and student life are weighing other measures to ensure the health and safety of the campus community, including socially distanced classrooms, options for living alone in a residence hall room, how large events will be managed, and more.
“Pitt State is committed to the health and safety of not only our campus but our entire community,” said Scott. “Wearing a mask is an important step we can all take to help ourselves and each other.”