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Masks optional on Western Illinois University campuses, updated COVID policy says

Students and faculty are expected to carry a face mask on them but are not required to wear it in most places on Western Illinois University campuses.

MOLINE, Ill. — Western Illinois University made face masks optional for students and faculty as of Wednesday, May 18 at most locations on its Macomb and Quad Cities campuses.

According to the university's updated COVID-19 policy, face coverings will only be required at the Beu Health Center and the school's COVID-19 SHIELD testing site, which is located at the University Union Sandburg Lounge on the Macomb campus. 

However, individuals should keep a mask on them at all times to wear when requested. Faculty, according to the university, are allowed to determine whether or not face masks will be required in their classrooms and are expected to communicate that protocol with students.

The masking requirement, according to the COVID-19 policy, will remain in place for those who were exposed to COVID-19, test positive for the virus or display symptoms.

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"Please remember that members of our WIU community who prefer to continue masking are welcomed and encouraged to do so," the policy reads. "As a campus community, we should respect others' choice to continue masking and make every effort to help others feel comfortable on campus."

The university said it will continue to offer face coverings in a majority of campus buildings, but it's recommended that students and faculty bring their own because supplies are limited.

The university held its fall 2021 and spring 2022 commencement ceremonies for both campuses Friday through Sunday, May 13-15 at the TaxSlayer Center.

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