YSU Won’t Mandate Masks, Vaccines for Fall Semester

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University has no immediate plans to mandate masks or vaccines when students return to campus for the fall semester.

President Jim Tressell said in a campus-wide email that the university would encourage students, faculty and staff  “to wear a face covering and physically distance according to their personal needs” in order to protect themselves against COVID-19.

The university also “strongly encourages” those on campus to become vaccinated, Tressell noted.

However, these plans could change given the “unpredictability of the virus,” Tressell said.

He emphasized the YSU community is expected to continue to abide by all campus safety and health policies as well as all applicable local, state, and federal mandates.  

As of now, there are no state or federal mandates relative to vaccinations or masks regarding COVID-19 that apply to college campuses or universities.

“We have been, and will continue to implement protocols to monitor and suppress coronavirus in accordance with public health guidelines, working directly with local public health officials,” Tressell said. 

Tressell presented a list of guidelines and protocols for those returning to campus: 

  • Classroom Safety and Health Protocols have been updated and can be reviewed on the COVID-19 information page on the YSU website.
  • Everyone must continue to perform a daily health assessment and report COVID cases to YSU COVID support staff. 
  • The effort to end the pandemic, however, is not over. We strongly encourage everyone in the YSU community – faculty, staff and students – to get vaccinated. For those who have, we thank you. For those who have not, we ask that you do. 
  • This fall, 86% of courses are being offered with at least some traditional, face-to-face components, bringing us back in line with pre-pandemic offerings. Outside of the classroom, YSU is permitting events to be held on campus, please complete the campus event request form. We are looking forward to a return to the vibrant academic living and learning environment that we all cherish. 

“With the unpredictability of this virus, we know that plans may need to be altered at any time,” Tressell said. “As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to review and adapt campus policies and procedures based on the expertise of our local, state and federal health officials with the health and safety of the entire community in mind.”

Pictured: File image of YSU students on campus during the first day of classes for Fall 2020 semester.

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