Masks still around as COVID lingers

Students returning to campus this semester, the third academic year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, were greeted with the now-familiar sight of masks.

And it’s likely to stay that way, at least some times, for the foreseeable future.

Detroit Mercy follows the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Pre- vention. Masks are required based on Wayne County’s Community Risk Level as determined by the CDC. When the CDC indicates Wayne County’s level is high, masks will be required in all teaching, studying and work spaces, including libraries. When the risk level is medium or low, masks are recommended, but not required. However, faculty mem- bers may require masks for their classes, regardless of the school’s protocol.

The county is currently at a medium risk.

Students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have approved exemption. Boosters are encouraged but not required.

It isn’t a requirement to report exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual, but it is recommended to take a precautionary COVID-19 test five days after your exposure, regardless if you experience symptoms or not.

Sade Shaw, a junior who is majoring in Psychology, agrees with the mask policy.

“I think we should wear masks still because although there isn’t a lot of cases, we still should take precautions especially since monkeypox is still around,” she said.

Shaw had COVID-19 before school started and experienced the worst of the symptoms, including severe headaches, shortness of breath and low energy. She quarantined for two weeks and says she never wants to experience that again, so she per- sonally wears her mask on campus.

Airik Sanders, a former graduate student and current Student Success coach of the REBUILD Detroit pro- gram here, says he has no issue with the mask rules, and likes students have the option to wear them or not, depending on the county risk level.

“I do not wear a mask and that is my preference, but I do respect others that do wear masks,” he said. “If they wanted me to wear a mask around them I would not have an issue.”