Quinnipiac reinstitutes an indoor mask mandate


Luca Triant, Q30 Newscast Associate Producer

Quinnipiac University has announced an update to its face mask policy, requiring all individuals to wear face masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

The update was sent via an email on Monday by Senior Medical Advisor Dr. David Hill and Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett. The policy change was prompted by a review of recent guidelines, conducted by Quinnipiac’s COVID-19 task force, from both CDC and Connecticut’s Department of Public Health.

The announcement follows the news of other nearby schools such as Yale and UConn also reinstating an indoor mask mandate as per federal guidelines from the CDC.

While masks must now be worn indoors, it is not required in private offices, partitioned workspaces and when eating in dining halls. Even with the new policy, Hill reassures that things still have changed since the last school year when there were even greater restrictions and that many of the points in the last coronavirus policy update would still follow through.

“The mask mandate does not mean we are going to last fall,” Hill said. “Last fall was a very challenging time with a lot of restrictions. The major restriction we’re going to have this time is indoor mask-wearing. You don’t have to wear a mask outdoors and you wouldn’t have to wear a mask in your living (space).”

And despite the new mask mandate now requiring students to wear masks while in classrooms too, there will be a difference in how courses are operated this semester.

“We’re going to be teaching primarily in-person and we’re not going to de-densify the classrooms. The classrooms will be back to the same capacity,” Hill said.

Hill added that in terms of discipline for this upcoming semester compared to last year, he was not going to be as inquisitive with a student population that will already be mostly vaccinated.

“I think a small study space where students are vaccinated, we’re not going to pursue asking whether or not you’ve been vaccinated if you’re not wearing a mask,” Hill said. “We want to be reasonable with this.”

Students were quick to voice their opinions on the new policy just as it was released, including Kaelin Murray, a senior international business major.

“If everyone on campus is vaccinated, I think we should be rewarded with a normal experience,” Murray said. “Given everything that’s been in the news the past few weeks, I wasn’t surprised by it… I am not happy with their decision because I think masks hinder our ability to socialize. I don’t see any reason for it given that everyone had to get vaccinated to return.”

Francesco Coppola, a second-semester freshman, took a semester off during his first school year because of the university’s coronavirus policies.

“I felt requiring students to be vaccinated in order to have a normal fall semester was a great way to resolve the problems we faced last year. Now I just feel they’re doing too much,” Coppola said. “It isn’t fair to the parents of students who pay thousands of dollars for their kids to be short-changed of a college experience.”

Quinnipiac is expecting to continue with the rest of its plan to bring in more events, resume its traditions and return the campus to a more pre-COVID environment.