ATHENS, WV (WVNS) — School is almost back in session for the state’s higher education institutions and the decision to mask up or not is still on the minds of many.
Thousands of students will be coming to the Concord University campus this month and the question of masks and vaccines are still up in the air. University President Dr. Kendra Boggess is answering some common questions to get students and faculty ready for the first day of classes.
“We are trying to follow the science. The CDC guidelines changed about a week ago and it’s very close to the beginning of school, so while we didn’t want to follow those mask mandates again, we have decided to do that because we believe safety is our most important concern,” said Dr. Boggess.
Dr. Boggess said masks will be required indoors for everyone, vaccinated or not. Outside, only those vaccinated may go without a mask. This goes for students and faculty.
“We are going to make vaccines or vaccinations available to anyone who is not vaccinated. We are encouraging everyone who can to become vaccinated,” said Dr. Boggess.
She said last year nearly 80 percent of students and faculty were vaccinated, but she doesn’t know the percentage for this year yet. She said they are keeping a close eye on the numbers, especially with the variants, and will make decisions based on CDC guidelines.
One thing is certain, no mask mandate will be coming back to Concord. Dr. Boggess said she is incredibly proud of her Concord family for moving and changing during such a turbulent time.
“I am very, very proud of the people here and the people I work with. We have all turned on a dime a hundred times and we will do it again because we want to make sure our students get the educational benefit of being here. We want to be back in our classrooms, we don’t want to have abbreviated classrooms, we don’t want to have all online classes, so we will make the changes necessary and we’ll get through it,” said Dr. Boggess.