As presidents of our respective universities and the community and technical college system, we are looking forward to the fall semester. We have a clear desire to get back to the regular rhythms of campus life.
Just a few weeks ago, we seemed poised to return to a sense of normalcy we all desired. And while we remain eager to begin the semester, we are again dealing with the challenges of the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant and the need to take precautions we hoped would be no longer needed.
After careful consideration of the CDC’s updated guidelines, consultation with public health officials, and the current spike in cases due to the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant, all of Kentucky’s public colleges and universities will require face coverings to be worn in all campus buildings, by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
As college and university presidents, we stand united in our commitment to provide a high-quality educational experience for our students in the safest manner possible for everyone in our communities. We urge students, faculty, or staff members that have not yet been vaccinated to consider doing so immediately. This is the most effective way to keep you, your loved ones, your colleagues, your fellow students, and those around you safe from this disease.
As we welcome students back to campus for in-person classes in the next couple weeks, it is vitally important that everyone feels as safe as possible in the current environment so they can learn, teach, and provide support for our campuses at the highest level possible. We appreciate everyone doing their part to make that a reality.
While all of our campuses are in the process of providing detailed guidance to respective communities, it is important that public higher education stands together in this fight against COVID-19 and moving the Commonwealth forward through high-quality education. In spite of this virus and the toll it has taken on everyone, we are excited about what this year will bring. If everyone does their part, we can defeat this disease.
This joint statement on mask guidance is signed by all presidents of Kentucky’s public four-year universities, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and the Council on Postsecondary Education.