West Virginia University expands mask requirements

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia University will expand its mask mandate to include all indoor campus spaces, officials said Friday.

Masks will be required beginning on Monday in all buildings and facilities regardless of vaccination status through Oct. 6, when public health conditions will be reevaluated, the school said in a statement.

Last month, the university began requiring masks to be worn in classrooms and labs, citing several factors, including that not enough students and employees have submitted proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The number of positive cases and quarantines involving university employees and students remain manageable, but officials said they decided to take the precautionary step due to the recent significant increase of COVID-19 cases in the state.

The mask requirement won’t apply in personal office spaces, small gatherings in residence halls, while eating or while exercising, officials said.

Meanwhile, Gov. Jim Justice said on Friday that cases in West Virginia are still rising and there are a record number of patients in the ICU and on ventilators. He continued to urge residents to get vaccinated.

“This thing is running rampant right now,” he said. “These vaccines are incredibly safe and they’ll stop this.”

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