Spalding President Tori Murden McClure sent the following message to the campus community on Tuesday, May 20, 2021:
Dear Spalding Community,
You have likely seen that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its COVID-19 guidance last week, declaring that it is now safe for fully vaccinated individuals to stop wearing masks indoors and outdoors. Governor Beshear has also amended the Kentucky mask mandate, which now no longer requires fully vaccinated people to wear a mask.
While it is extremely encouraging to see the decline in COVID-19 cases and the increase in people who have received vaccines, we have decided that Spalding University will maintain its mask policy as-is through the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year. That means that through June 30, 2021, all students, employees and visitors must continue to wear a mask at all times while indoors on campus, except for when they are in individual offices or residential rooms, or when seated and eating at the College Street Café’. As of May 18, 2021, about 36 percent of Kentuckians are fully vaccinated. That is good progress, but it also means that nearly two-thirds of our population is not yet vaccinated. With this in mind, it feels appropriate and responsible that we continue our masking policy, especially during Commencement, which will be, by far, our largest set of indoor gatherings of the year.
Masks and social distancing will be required for all attendees at our upcoming Commencement ceremonies, June 3-5. Graduates, please remind your guests that they will need to wear a mask before they go inside a campus building, regardless of their vaccination status. Free “Spalding Graduate” masks will be distributed to the graduates, and other free masks will be available for guests.
Continuing our consistent, standard policy with everyone in masks will be the safest, easiest way to hold class and interact on campus. Further, maintaining the status quo on our masking policy will eliminate the burden – and any anxieties – on our faculty and staff in having to check every day who is or is not truly vaccinated and who is or is not allowed to go without a mask.
Spalding has been successful in having a low number of COVID-19 cases this year, and we believe that the 100 percent compliance that we have achieved in our masking policy is a big reason why. We can’t thank our students, faculty and staff enough for their cooperation in wearing masks without complaint. It’s been an amazing group effort.
We are, of course, all eager to get back to a more normal way of life, and we are excited to return to holding a majority of our classes in person next fall. Spalding will review our masking policy this summer. It is my sincere hope that the vast majority of the campus community will be vaccinated and that we will be able to set aside our masks in the coming year. We encourage you and your loved ones to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The vaccines are free and easily accessible and have been proven to be safe and highly effective. Anyone 12 and older is now eligible for a vaccine in Kentucky.
Thanks again for your cooperation and willingness to work together.
All the best,
Tori Murden McClure
Spalding University President