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BGSU requiring masks indoors for everyone on campus

In an update to BGSU's health protocols, face coverings will now be required in all indoor public areas, regardless of vaccination status.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green State University is the latest to update its COVID-19 health protocols following the surge of cases in Wood County and nationwide.

BGSU made changes Thursday night in line with the CDC's new guidance for communities with substantial or high community COVID-19 transmission. Wood County is currently classified as having substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission, according to the CDC.

BGSU will now require everyone on campus to wear face coverings indoors in public areas, regardless of vaccination status. Public areas where masks need to be worn include libraries, laboratories, classrooms and gathering areas.

Masks are not required in spaces like residence hall rooms or individual offices. Masks also are not required when working alone, eating or drinking, or actively exercising indoors.

Unvaccinated individuals should still wear masks both indoors and outdoors, as previously required.

From July 19 to Aug. 4, Wood County went from low levels of community transmission to its current status of substantial, according to the CDC's COVID Data Tracker.

In the past week, transmission levels rose from moderate to substantial. 

Substantial transmission means there have been 50-100 cases per 100,000 over a 7-day period and high transmission means an area has seen more than 100 cases per 100,000 over a 7-day period, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

In Wood County, the case rate is 54.27 per 100,000 in the past seven days as of Aug. 5. 

The same health protocols for the BGSU main campus will be in place at Firelands campus in Erie County, where transmission rate is currently at a high level with 121.19 cases per 100,000 in the past seven days.

BGSU notes in its COVID-19 F.A.Q. section that the goal is still to start the fall semester on Aug. 26 with few restrictions.

The BGSU COVID-19 Response Hotline is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 419-372-3000.

Questions can also be emailed to health@bgsu.edu.

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