Northern Kentucky requiring masks, other changes as classes near

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Northern Kentucky University has issued guidelines for the start of classes this fall.

In a letter to the university community Tuesday, Provost Matt Cecil said:

Dear Campus Community,
I hope you are having a pleasant and restful summer. In a couple of weeks, we will welcome students back to our campus for the fall semester. As always, our most important task is to keep our campus community safe and healthy. With that in mind, I would like to share a few updates on our continuing COVID-19 response:

Masking
Unfortunately, the risk of infection with the Delta variant of COVID-19 is very high in our
region and we must take steps to protect our campus community. Face masks have proven
highly effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Given the high level of community
spread of the Delta variant and the relatively low level of fully vaccinated individuals in our
region, we have no choice but to require masks indoors on campus for all persons, vaccinated and unvaccinated. This indoor masking requirement becomes effective on
Wednesday, August 4.

NKU is providing reusable masks to all faculty, staff, and students. Reusable masks will be
available using your NKU All Card from the Student Union Information Desk (2nd Floor)
during normal building hours. Supplies may be limited.
Limited quantities of disposable masks may be available at the Welcome Center, Student
Union and University Center Information Desks, Steely Library Distribution Desk, and
Campus Recreation during normal business hours.

Vaccinations
We strongly encourage individuals to get a COVID-19 vaccination. The current growth in
infections underscores the urgency of increasing the number of vaccinated individuals in
our region. The vaccines are safe and effective in preventing serious disease. Please get
vaccinated if you have not done so already.

NKU Health, Counseling and Student Wellness has vaccines available free of charge, and
Kentucky residency is not required. Call 859-572-5650 or email hcsw@nku.edu for an
appointment. More information about vaccines can be found in NKU’s vaccination FAQs,
and the university also has created a COVID-19 vaccination dashboard to track vaccination
rates in the region. NKU also has testing available if you believe you have been infected.
You can find more information on COVID-19 testing on our website.

Even as we encourage vaccination, please continue to respect the privacy of others in our
campus community by refraining from asking about individuals’ vaccination status.

Return to Work
Student success is our mission and it is important that our students are welcomed back to a vibrant campus with offices open, assistance readily available to them, and in-person
classes led by faculty members at the front of the room. At the same time, our procedures
potentially allow for some remote work or flexible work arrangements. Human Resources
has created the Flexible Work web page explaining its procedures for flexible work
arrangements. If you believe you are a candidate for remote work or flexible work
arrangements, please review the procedures and discuss the situation with your
supervisor.

The rising spike of Delta variant cases should remind us all that we are still not clear of the
global pandemic. While safe and effective vaccines have created opportunities for more
normal operations on our campus, we must still monitor the situation and be ready to
adapt quickly to changing circumstances. The only way to ease restrictions is to increase
the vaccination rate on our campus and in the region. Our situation will change for the
better as more people get vaccinated. We know there are many questions about the Delta
variant and how it can impact those who are vaccinated. To answer these questions and
concerns, we have created a document explaining the different variants and a Frequently
Asked Questions document on the Delta variant.

It is important to realize that the stress and uncertainty of this ongoing pandemic impacts
different people in different ways. The university has resources available to support our
campus during these stressful times. Health, Counseling and Student Wellness is available
for students to answer questions, perform COVID 19 testing and provide emotional support.

Faculty and staff can take advantage of the Employee Assistance Program through Aetna.

It offers online resources and counselors available anytime. As we continue to navigate this
crisis, I encourage everyone to be kind to one another.

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