Starting June 28, fully vaccinated people at will no longer need to wear masks on Penn State campuses.
Those who are fully protected against COVID-19 also won’t need to physically distance indoors and outdoors. Non-vaccinated individuals must continue masking after June 28.
Penn State will continue following Centers for Disease Control guidance that says masks are still needed in some locations, including in on-campus health care facilities and on public transportation.
Rising senior Hope Damato says the university’s new policies make sense on paper. But she doesn’t trust Penn State to figure out if unmasked people are actually vaccinated.
“They already didn’t enforce it when masks were mandatory to begin with,” Damato said.
To boost vaccinations across campus, Penn State is also launching a new series of weekly raffles for students and employees this summer. Those who upload a picture of their completed vaccine card to the university will be entered to win prizes in a weekly drawing that will include a $1,000 payment, gift cards and a football signed by Penn State football coach James Franklin.
Damato is skeptical of the raffle system, too. She says flashy prizes are probably unlikely to sway most students who still remain unvaccinated.
“I think the people who want to get the vaccine have already done so and have been vaccinated for a while now since it’s been available,” she said.
Hundreds of colleges and universities are now requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but so far Penn State has not made vaccination a requirement for students and employees.
The university’s Faculty Senate and the University Park Undergraduate Association each voted to support a mandate, but administrators say incentives are currently their main focus.