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LSU lifts mask mandate, but will continue testing unvaccinated students

Aubry Procell

Louisiana State University’s Baton Rouge campus lifted its mask mandate Wednesday morning, but will continue requiring monthly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated students, according to a statement from LSU President William Tate IV.

Restrictions for on-campus events, including indoor capacity limits, are also lifted. The only other protocols that will remain in place are quarantine rules for those who test positive for COVID-19.

The university’s decision follows Governor Edwards’ order to lift the statewide mask mandate, effective Oct. 26.

Tate thanked students and staff for getting vaccinated “in numbers rarely seen at other universities” and for “adhering to the protocols we put in place to ensure the health and safety of our university family.”

According to voluntary reports, as of Nov. 15, 84.1% of students and 78.6% of employees at the university were vaccinated. LSU students were required to submit proof of vaccination or an exemption form by Oct. 15 in order to schedule their classes for the Spring 2022 semester. Employees were required to submit proof of vaccination or agree to monthly COVID-19 testing by Nov. 1.

Tate asked that LSU community members “continue to use caution” during the holidays and to continue to wear masks during group gatherings.

LSU lifted all COVID-19 restrictions and preventive measures for events held in Tiger Stadium last month.

As of Nov. 5, the state health department reported that LSU’s Baton Rouge campus had more cases of COVID-19 than any other public university campus in the state, with 870 total cases among on-campus students, faculty and staff since May 9, 2021. According to LSU’s COVID-19 dashboard, eight students and four employees had active cases of the virus on Tuesday.

Aubry is a reporter, producer and operations assistant in Baton Rouge.