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Kent State University to require masks on campus, effective immediately

Masks will be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

KENT, Ohio — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player above is from a previous story.

Kent State University announced Wednesday that it will require masks to be worn on campus, regardless of vaccination status, effective immediately.

In a press release posted on the university's website and on social media, the university said the move was due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

"Throughout the pandemic, the health and safety of every member of our Kent State community have been and will remain the primary driver behind every decision we make. Now with a substantial spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 across the country, we are returning to previous practices on face coverings to ensure a safe start to the new academic year," the release said.

Some exceptions to the mask rule are: When students are in their dorm rooms, working in a private office or lab, while eating in the dining hall or restaurant on campus, and while working out in the campus rec center.

The release also states that instructors who can remain at least six feet apart from students while teaching are able to choose not to wear a face covering.

Kent State also urged its students, faculty and staff to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and offered incentives to do so. Students who register their vaccine status are eligible to win prizes. Drawings from those prizes will happen twice a week through October 12, and include free tuition for one semester, free room and board for one semester, a kayaking trip and more.

"Kent State will continue to monitor pandemic conditions and will revise our requirements as needed to adapt to changes and to align with the recommendations from federal and local public health officials," the university said in a release.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player below is from a previous story.