PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — While Virginia law gives parents the option to decide if their K-12 students will mask up, colleges and universities can decide for themselves.
At Christopher Newport University in Newport News, students can now ditch masks if they want to.
“It’s kind of refreshing everything feels a little more normal,” second-year student Logan Glen told WAVY.
The university made the call based on low transmission rates on campus and in the community — but there’s a slight catch.
“Professors, our teaching staff do have the option of asking students to wear their masks until the end of the semester if they’re more comfortable with that,” explained CNU’s Interim Communications Director Kelley McGee.
There are caveats and different rules at almost every Hampton Roads area college.
Right now, Hampton University and Norfolk State University still require masks on campus for all.
Earlier this week NSU cited online several reasons for continuing the mandate including the fact that: “COVID-19 has impacted African Americans and other underrepresented communities disproportionately through the pandemic.”
William & Mary in Williamsburg ended its campus-wide mandate on March 1 — for the most part. Masks are still required in classrooms and class labs.
Old Dominion University in Norfolk also requires masks in classrooms and labs, but when students return from spring break on Monday, March 14, masks will be optional in all other indoor settings.
On Feb. 28, Virginia Wesleyan University switched to a mask-optional status for people in the campus community who are fully vaccinated with a booster.
Members of instructional faculty will still have the right to require that all students enrolled in their courses wear masks and to dismiss those who fail to comply or wear them incorrectly.
Masks can also come off Monday at Virginia’s community colleges including Tidewater Community College and Virginia Peninsula Community College (formerly Thomas Nelson Community College) on the Peninsula.