By Sydney Maston
For the first time in almost two years, students and staff at WVU Parkersburg no longer have to guess what the rest of the faces of their classmates and students look like. President Gilmer announced on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 that face coverings will no longer be required but highly encouraged for all students, faculty, staff, and guests who enter WVU Parkersburg facilities beginning Monday, February 28, 2022. However, with this news comes some exemptions:
- Any faculty member may require masks to be worn during face-to-face class during times of high spreading in the community. Students who prefer not to adhere to this requirement may participate in the class virtually if available by the instructor.
- Also during times of high community spread, any employee who is at high risk for severe illness may require all others to wear face coverings when entering their workspace. Signs designating that face coverings are required in certain work spaces can be obtained from the Office of the President.
- Students of healthcare programs must still remain following the protocols set in place by the clinical facilities or any other facilities they attend that are not in conjunction with WVU Parkersburg.
Most states are relaxing their mask mandates and opening facilities up for more public use and it was only a matter of time that West Virginia and WVU Parkersburg began to do the same. Despite the relaxation of many restrictive protocols, the university has the right to revert back to them at any given time if it seems necessary to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff.
Although this may be a relief for some people, anyone who wishes to continue wearing a face covering at WVU Parkersburg may do so. Keep an eye on your student email and the WVU Parkersburg website as the administration will continue to monitor and update their COVID-19 protocols if needed.