Clarke University requiring masks indoors again after Dubuque County case rise

Loras College also reinstated a similar mask mandate
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 9:40 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Clarke University has decided to reinstate its mask mandate, effective today.

Staff, students, and visitors will need to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, this as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designated Dubuque County with a high level of COVID-19 community transmission. Last week, the county reported 193 active COVID-19 cases.

Thom Chesney, the university’s president, said they made the decision to require masks again after listening to local health officials’ recommendations. Chesney said Clarke has students coming from almost 30 different states and 20 different countries, so he says it is important for them to take these mitigation measures. He said they are reinstating a mask mandate because they noticed it did help them out last year.

“For example, be well below the county infection rates and to be able to never once surpass the capacity we had for our own quarantine and isolation here at Clarke,” Chesney said. “It seems a very natural step for us to take a partial step back in order to care for our community.”

Chesney said they will make more decisions on mask-wearing on a weekly basis. He mentioned, though, as of now, they will not go back to any restrictive social distancing guidelines.

Nearby, Loras College also implemented a very similar mask mandate on its campus.

The University of Dubuque is highly recommending masks, but not requiring them. Officials said, however, they might be required in places like clinical sites, internship locations, or public transportation.

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