Throughout Missouri, the COVID-19 Delta variant is spreading rapidly. In June, the Foundation issued an alert about colleges’ changing policies on masking and a reminder about vaccination. With the swift spread in recent weeks, the CDC has updated their masking guidance. This guidance does include that even those who are fully vaccinated still mask in many settings. In response to the increased level of virus circulating in our communities and the new guidance from the CDC, colleges are again responding with important updates for students and the Foundation is seeing an increase in announcements regarding policy and procedural changes that are important for students as they finalize plans and preparations for fall.
Hundreds of colleges across the country have announced vaccination requirements for students and staff. Locally, policy changes continue in response to COVID-19, with more colleges joining the ranks daily, such as Webster University. The Scholarship Foundation once again encourages students to seek vaccination before returning to school for the fall semester.
On some campuses, those unvaccinated will be required to test regularly to be admitted to class or to work.
Updated Mask Policies
Colleges are also reinstating mask requirements, as the University of Missouri announced this week. It is important for students to know if their college has a mask requirement, who it applies to, and what spaces on campus require masking. Regardless, the Foundation advises all students to bring masks with them to campus as it is expected guidance and policies will change in response to the ongoing health crisis.
Actions Students Need to Take
Do not wait to be told what to do. With the fall semester only weeks away, it is urgent for students to be aware of continued changes at their institutions, as well as to take steps to protect themselves, and others, from serious illness and death. Vaccination remains the best step to take for protection and those who are unvaccinated, including those under the age of 12, are vulnerable. The Scholarship Foundation is committed to the health and wellbeing of all and will continue to monitor the situation and communicate information to students so that they can make informed decisions and protect themselves and their loved ones.