Students react to updated mask policy

Local News

MADISON, S.D. (KELO) — Right now, face coverings are required in all public indoor spaces at South Dakota’s public universities, but that’s set to change in just a matter of days.

Starting Monday, masks will no longer be optional on public university campuses.

Jazlynn Pederson is wrapping up her sophomore year at Dakota State University.

When she returns as a junior for the fall semester, she expects campus to look different.

“I think it will be weird to see everyone without masks. I think a lot of our professors probably don’t know what to expect because they haven’t seen our faces all year,” DSU student Jazlynn Pederson said.

But the updated policy doesn’t mean masks will disappear from campus.

“We do know that some people are still going to be more comfortable if they wear a mask, and we certainly encourage people to do that and we are also encouraging people to get vaccinated,” DSU interim provost Jim Moran said.

DSU interim provost Jim Moran says the university will continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19.

“We’re going to be keeping our eye on what happens. We anticipate this. The trends, so far, look good in terms of declining COVID cases, but we also know that could turn around at any moment,” Moran said.

Lee Kampshoff is a graduating senior, but he says he’ll continue to wear a mask for campus visits if they’re still recommended.

“I’m vaccinated, but if I were in a group I would still want to wear a mask just because I don’t know who is vaccinated or what people have been doing or where they’ve been, so me personally I would still wear one,” Kampshoff said.

Pederson is fully vaccinated, too.

She says she’ll still wear a face covering when the fall semester begins, but she’s looking forward to this new chapter.

“A big group of all of our friends have gotten vaccinated and are fully vaccinated as of now, so I really think we’re going to get a return to normalcy soon here,” Pederson said.

In a press release, DSU says it will continue to follow CDC recommendations for social distancing and meeting room capacities, along with proper hygiene techniques.

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