Several Idaho universities requiring face masks indoors, regardless of vaccinations

Boise State University
Posted at 2:17 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 18:14:37-04

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State University announced it will require face coverings be worn both indoors and in some crowded outdoor spaces.

The masks will be required for everyone regardless of vaccination status, the university announced.

"Although ongoing research confirms that COVID vaccines are safe and effective, it is possible for fully vaccinated individuals to unknowingly spread the virus to unvaccinated individuals," according to a statement from BSU on its COVID-19 response.

Related: Back to school mask mandates. Here's what you need to know

The Centers for Disease Controlannounced face coverings should be worn in indoor public spaces "owned or controlled by the university as well as in crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status." Face coverings must be clean, reusable or single-use disposable coverings that cover the nose and mouth, are closed at the bottom and do not allow respiratory droplets to escape through vents or other means.

Facial coverings are not required when working alone in an enclosed space, classroom or in a residence hall room. Visitors to Boise State are expected to adhere to the guidelines.

Mike Sharp, a spokesperson for Boise State, says current parameters would require face coverings at football games, regardless of vaccination status.

"As we have learned over the last 18 months, the situation with COVID-19 is fluid. As we prepare for full capacity at all home events this fall, we are prepared to adjust policies based on guidance from the Mountain West and NCAA, in addition to what is established by local, state and federal health officials," said Sharp in a written statement.

Both University of Idaho and Idaho State University also announced face masks will be required for the upcoming school year.

University of Idaho President C. Scott Green sent a memo to campus announcing masks will be required on campus regardless of vaccination status, effective immediately, according to from The Argonaut.

Idaho State University will also be implementing mask requirements for vaccinated individuals.

"As we prepare for the fall semester and the excitement of welcoming you back to campus, we also continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation," said ISU President Kevin Satterlee in a statement. "I, like all of you, was hoping that this school year would look more like pre-pandemic years, but sharp increases in the Delta variant of COVID-19 are extremely concerning. This variant is highly contagious, spreading quickly in our communities, and causing an increase in breakthrough cases. With this information in mind, and based on the current health data, we are amending our on-campus guidance for face coverings to best support in-person instruction and on-campus activities."